“The man, who was born to a woman and doesn’t respect a woman, has no right to live in this world.” – Prof. M.S.Rao.
It is an honor to share some thoughts on women who constitute approximately half of the Indian population. You are the force behind India! You are the power of India! You are the real leaders of this great country! Several revolutions are successful with your active support. You have transformed the Indian society amazingly by working from behind scenes. Because you think what is possible. You think what is feasible. You make things happen. And you see that India becomes prosperous.
India gave birth to great leaders such as Jhansi Lakshmi Bhai, Sarojini Naidu and Indira Gandhi to name a few who transformed Indian society. Presently we have women leaders such as Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj who are transforming the Indian society tremendously.
History shows that the countries that respected and empowered women prospered significantly. They advanced greatly. However, when we look at our country, we find alarming atrocities on women. It seems there is no safety and security for women in India. The situation has gone too extreme that women started to suspect majority of men because of recurrent reporting of rape and violence on women. We need to think about it deeply to reverse the trend to win the trust and confidence of women in India. It all needs the change in the mindset of the men who cannot live without the support of women and who wouldn’t have been into this world without women.
It is a fact that most Indian women suffer silently from cradle to grave. They are treated as Goddess Laxmi, Saraswati and Parvathi at home but are not accorded due importance in the society. Parents control them as though they don’t know anything. They take more precautions towards women due to social pressures and customs. Up to marriage, Indian women remain under the control of parents. After marriage, they remain under the control of their husbands. And in their old age, they remain under the control of their children. Hence, Indian women remain under control from cradle to grave without any freedom except occasionally glorifying them as Goddesses by Indian society.
When we talk about the status of Indian women we must know the term, ‘glass ceiling’. It is a barrier denying equal opportunities to women and minorities to raise high in leadership positions. There are a few Indian women who broke the glass ceiling. For instance, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi rose in political life through their leadership abilities. There are a few corporate women including Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo who kicked the glass ceiling and have become role models for young women in India. The women leaders such as Kiran Bedi who is the first IPS woman officer, Chanda Kocchar and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw to name a few kicked the glass ceiling. And many more Indian women are on the prowl to challenge the male bastion to prove their mettle and leadership.
Research shows that women are honest, intelligent, compassionate, outgoing and creative. The predominant quality of women is compassion followed by creativity and integrity. There is growing female employment in India. Currently companies are providing several advantages to women employees to utilize their services. But much needs to be done. Indian women are gradually empowered as we find more women getting into employment and asserting themselves in their personal, professional and social lives. It is exciting to note that education for women is accorded importance and the so called gap between genders is declining. However, we still need to find a lot of improvement among Indian women in all walks of life especially in education and employment.
Woes of Working Women
Indian women encounter several challenges especially the working women. They need to take care of family at home and professional duties at the workplace. They are often pressurized at home and office. However, they demonstrate their abilities by pulling all strings together. In addition, they face challenges from their mothers-in-law as there has been an age old conflict between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law in India. However, this problem is currently decreasing due to mushrooming nuclear families. Often women have to balance their demanding husbands. They need to take care of their children up to some age and it is possible only for women as they can alone provide motherly love to children.
At office, there will be work related pulls and pressures. In addition, they have to encounter organizational politics and sexual harassment. Therefore, there are a number of challenges for women throughout their lives. However, they overcome all these challenges as they are gifted with a few qualities such as multitasking abilities, interpersonal skills and assertiveness. In addition, they are good at gauging hidden data of communication such as understanding the feelings, emotions and egos of opposite sex better.
Women Empowerment in India
Swami Vivekananda once remarked, “There is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing.” Hence, empowering women is imperative not only good for Indian society but also the entire world. And empowering women is a Herculean task in India as it is fact that there is a gender based discrimination in Indian society. Mere legislations don’t bring true equality between men and women. There has to be reciprocal response from Indian men to handhold and take Indian women forward by giving them due dignity in the larger interests of our nation. It is true that no nation can progress without the active involvement of women.
Indian women must come out of their traditional barriers and mental limitations and step into the competitive world. Their active participation can help India prosper rapidly. Currently almost half of the hidden potential in India is not utilized properly. If this half of the hidden potential is channeled, India can become a super power.
There must be a change in the mindset of the people in this regard. The day Indian society thinks that women are not the burden, but an asset; and the day the Indian society changes its attitude towards women, the country will prosper as a whole. Let us change our attitude towards women. Let us change our perception towards women. Let us respect them. Let us handhold them. They are the wealth of our country. They are the true leaders who are leading us behind the scenes. Without their support we would not have grown. Without them we would not have been into this world. Here is my message:
It is not only a privilege but also an honor to be born as a woman in India as woman can only carry forward the civilization.
You may not have a sister.
You may not have a wife.
You may not have a daughter.
You may not have a female friend.
But you have a mother.
Remember, you were born to a woman!
Right Attitude is Essential
Indian men must change their attitude towards women. Once it is changed, the atrocities on women will decline. When the culprits think that they were born to a woman there is less chance to resort to rape and violence against women. Research shows that most rapists go scot free due to the loopholes in the Indian legal system including delays. It is the responsibility of parents to teach children how to behave with fairer sex. Hence, as a mother, woman must take responsibility to educate children to respect women. It is essential for the educational institutions to take initiative in this regard. Hence, coordinated efforts from all stakeholders including parents, educational institutions, government, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and society is essential to check atrocities on women.
Law of the land gives equal rights to both men and women. Law can punish the culprits and rapists. However, the solution lies in changing the mindset of the people and their perception towards women. Men should not treat women as objects or commodities that are available in the market. Building a right attitude about women is the first step of a very steep staircase towards empowerment of women in India.
My dear men! Make sure that the world doesn’t mock at India. We cannot live without women. Hence, respect them, handhold them and guide them. Lead them to the path of prosperity. Make a difference to the society!
An Honor to be Born as a Woman
It is only the woman who can conceive and enjoy the feeling of motherhood which the man is deprived of. It is only the woman who can carry forward human civilization. It is only the woman who can encounter several challenges with patience and come out with flying colors. It is only the woman who can show compassion and forgive others quickly. It is only the woman who can multitask. It is only the woman who can understand human feelings, emotions, and egos better than men. It is only the woman who can forgive others with a big heart. Above all, behind the success of every man there is a woman. Therefore, I salute women for all their strengths and applaud their silent contribution to society.
You have suffered silently since ancient times. You have undergone several trials and tribulations for many years. It is the time for you to assert and fight male chauvinism. The sky is the limit for you! You have abundant opportunities currently. You were born at the right time of Indian history. You are a symbol of patience and humanity. You have a great potential and power to take on various challenges in this world. Be bold. Take initiative. Shoulder responsibilities. Face the challenges squarely. Lead India. Lead the world. Inspire the world!
Thank you, Jai Bharat Matha! Jai Hind!
“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Prof. M.S. Rao
International Leadership Guru
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