The world we live in is an ingrained social system that in all aspects of life be it professional or personal is male-dominated. A male-dominated society is bound to be following a patriarchal societal system where the rule makers are mostly men, and sadly there lies the problem. The decision-makers and the hierarchy below them are also male-dominated and hence women are not considered a part of society, and the rules made only favor the men. Not just India, the world is patriarchal, but unfortunately India today is now becoming a more and more unequal society and an unsafe and unharmonious place for women. In this essay on issues and problems faced by women in India, we will dive deep into them and understand the causes and problems. It can be a short essay or a long challenge women face today. This will provide deeper insight into the issue and help us learn some ways to tackle the issues.
Long Essay on Issues and Problems faced by Women in India
This is a long challenge women face today for an in-depth understanding in clear words and simple language that can be of help to every student who intends to gain knowledge on this subject.
Our country India very proudly claims to be living in the motherland and worship various woman deities and goddesses but the dire concern of this is women sadly do not get the same respect and equal status.
Even while living in the country with the largest democracy in the world, the women in India fight a fight much harder than a man can even conceive it to be. Indian women's problems are not just limited to social rights, the problems are widespread even in workplaces and homes. The problems are infinite and are only rising by the day, let us understand some of them.
The problems that the generation that came much before us faced included sati-practice which is when a woman is set on fire because when her husband dies she cannot be safe in a society. The sati practice has been banned and even after many governments have changed the cruelty towards women has not faded. The sad part is, it has taken various gruesome forms that affect women physically, mentally and socially.
Problems Faced by Women on a Societal Level
The main problem that lies in society is the rules set for women, about conduct and behaviour. Some of them are problematic as a woman cannot step out at night without a man, this subconsciously is only promoting the idea that women are unsafe, and due to this in many homes in India, the families treat the girls differently than boys.
Gender roles are set, how a woman speaks, dresses and chooses a way to live her life is also decided by someone who is not a woman but still perceived to have some sort of power over women. Some rules that the women are expected to abide by, they must be accommodating, they should always compromise even when they are in an unhappy and unsafe environment there is no safe place for women to seek help, and they should learn all the domestic chores.
The consequences of all these rules are increased rapes, sexual harassment, subjection to child marriage, women are better than their per cent of marital rape and when a woman speaks up against any harassment as an act of revenge the harasser throws acid on her. Young girls go missing due to child trafficking and are forced to grow up in a harsher environment that can even be life-threatening. Needless to mention, women are being harassed in public places by bullying, remarking indecently, intimidating their human dignity and eve-teasing.
The problem of dowry, where the girl’s family has to give a large amount to the groom’s family, is an age-old and regressive problem that still prevails. Due to the inability of providing dowry, many families abandon the girl child and female foeticide is at an all-time high. Most girls in rural areas are also killed by their own families in the name of honour and reputation being hampered when she chooses to marry according to her own will. The honour killing practice is so prevalent and there are no safety rules that protect women.
Beauty is becoming a problem for women, and so is complexion. Fair looking women, especially from lower castes and religions, are not acceptable. This has resulted in acid attacks and deprivation of good food, diet, and lifestyle to look less beautiful and darker than the privileged women of their social class.
Tribal women are beaten to death for witchcraft, an accusation against women who do not cooperate or are incompetent for gratifying men’s needs. Similarly, in villages and rich families, women are tortured for not begetting sons for the family. So the female child is killed, which is female foeticide. Having a girl child is considered a curse for the girl child will leave the family and learn the practices of another family while a boy child is expected to carry on the family practices.
Women who become widows and divorcees feel low in society and are deprived of job opportunities with unmarried women. Besides, these women are exploited and abused for auspices; and are not allowed to participate or enjoy functions and holidays.
Using a girl child as a sacrifice to temples results in the prostitution of those women and their exploitation by men and authorities. This practice resulted in the devadasi system.
Women are not allowed to have self-respect, efficiency, personality, individuality capacity and talent. They are blamed on their mental health, and their parents are humiliated and harassed for growing up self-made women who can empower others. They are not allowed to take leadership roles and make futuristic policies. Similarly, if women are ground-breaking or discoveries are hidden and given less importance, they are not encouraged and honed to further the new knowledge.
Pathetic is the plight of women in the media and modelling or fashion world. They are exploited for beauty and misrepresented, encouraging taboo practises and biassed toward products and jobs.
Women's health and wellbeing taking secondary place by practice is a social evil, especially when they go out for jobs to bear the economic burden of the household. They should be allowed to eat well, go to the gym, and have a good physical appearance on par with men, indicating good health.
Psychiatric counselling to pregnant women and postpartum women should be encouraged rather than abusing them for hormonal problems. They should be able to manage emotions on par with men. Women should be helped even when they do not cry and shed tears or shout or die fighting back in times of need but can follow procedures, stay calm and ask for a proper protocol to take action.
According to reports, 75 percent of women live in homes where their husbands beat them and abuse them; domestic violence has no limits. The health of a woman is also neglected, poor medical care has put many women’s lives in danger.
Problems faced by Women at Schools and Workplace
Firstly, there are not enough schools especially for girls in rural areas. As women reach puberty their freedom and right to education are snatched away and they are prohibited from going to school. Due to a lack of proper sanitation facilities, many women unwillingly drop out of school. Even after a woman gains an education and a degree and enters the workplace, the problems and issues do not stop. At most workplaces be it corporate or even in a government office, the power play dynamic is exploited. Many male superiors take advantage of their juniors and harass them for pleasure and engage in unlawful activities.
Financial exclusion, the women are not considered when deciding the pay. The women’s contribution at the workplace is underestimated and they are paid far lesser than their male colleagues. The women in powerful positions are also pulled down bypassing negative comments. Lack of women representation in every field creates a void in society and a nation does not progress.
Sexual exploitation at the workplace has been a concern and the me-too movement proved it occurs in every stratum. Women are not elected to be in power and decision making roles because they claim men are threatened by women bosses. The woman's progress in a company is not judged by her potential or calibre.
Some Ways to Tackle the Issues and Problems Faced by Women
Raising your voice against the horrendous crime of child marriage and sexual harassment, and try to challenge such events and do your best to stop them. The government also should take steps in punishing those who practice these. Making education gender-sensitive can be a very positive first step towards giving girls equal rights and opportunities in society. It can be done by ensuring that the school textbooks promote positive stereotypes, have information about women leaders and activities that can bridge the gap between men and women.
When you talk to more women and girls, you will truly understand the problems they face at a grassroots level and then steps can be taken in strides to improve their standing in society. It is very important to empower mothers, provide them with knowledge and real-life examples about how education can be life-changing. Only then they will raise an educated family and not deprive their girl child of this boon that education is.
Only education is not important, it is also crucial to raise the aspirations of girls and their parents by giving them proof of what education can lead to. Education can create powerful and independent women who live life according to their choice whether they choose to be professional or not is up to them. They should be given equal opportunity and encouraged to use opportunities without hesitation.
The important step can be to give proper value to 'women's work'. When the superiors appreciate somebody’s work the gender should not come into play and only the work must be judged, only then discrimination at the workplace can be stopped. It is high time to get women into power, when women are in decision making roles they can make better decisions about what will run a society smoothly because they are sensitive and understand a woman’s life, the problems she faces and the perspective.
Not depriving girls of progress and knowledge and letting girls make use of technology so that they are connected to the world and they can utilise opportunities for themselves is a win for themselves and the nation as well. Volunteering in an organisation that pledges to work for women safety and growth, since there are organisations that require funds and support as they provide a safe home to women who have gone through traumatic experiences.
One can start a fundraiser and raise money to help the people who are going through the problems and contribute to such causes. Attending marches and protests and claiming public attention attracted a lot of attention that can certainly drive change in the right direction.
Safety should be a point of concern and ensured at all levels be it on the roads, at night, at home and the workplace and laws must be implemented to protect the women of our country. More laws and implementing those laws to practice is essential, especially women employed in such services must be honed to think according to the need for implementing these policies.
The Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace (POSH) Act is the primary legislation that lays down the guidelines against sexual harassment of women in the workplace. It is important that it is implemented properly in the workplace. Cases should not be crafted, and women must not be made a scapegoat for showing numbers by corporate companies to claim themselves as a women-friendly organisation. Paid leave for menstruation teaches men not to mistreat women for periods when they go down a little low on energy and feel tired, reducing productivity. Women should be encouraged to have good food and a lifestyle.
Short Essay on Issues and Problems Faced by Women in India
In a country with the largest democracy where the goddesses are hailed and worshipped one might think women too are protected and enjoy safety. The reality is far from that. Women face problems on a daily basis that men cannot comprehend, they are stared at by others and judged for their choice of clothes, behaviour and everything connected to them, at homes they are expected to be caretakers, mothers, cooks, nurses, a good wife, a daughter-in-law.
It is so sad to see that so much inhuman and machine level expertise is expected from them and yet nobody is happy with them. They are ill-treated on roads, public transports, at the workplace and even in their own homes and personal relationships. The problems are many like dowry-related harassment, right from childhood young girls are neglected and not encouraged for personal growth which creates a weak foundation for their entire love. When girls from such toxic environments grow up they tolerate domestic violence, marital rape and even they do not speak up when they encounter abusive behaviour in a relationship.
The problems are in every sphere of life for women and to stop that we have to be understanding of them. As a society, we should support girl education and seeing women in powerful positions in government offices and the corporate world and enforce stricter laws for those who harass others in any form. The way to grow is together and empowering women will build up a nation that is very powerful and when women grow they build up economies. When we as a nation do not turn a blind eye to women’s contribution we will prosper in many ways.
Women are more compassionate and empathetic than men and that often is considered as a sign of weakness, men must realize patriarchy and the ego that does no good by women is not helping them either. Women have so many issues that we cannot articulate and they are facing so much without complaining so there should be a collective effort by everyone to support women if they have a problem and fight against the wrong-doers for justice and equality. And also encourage young girls to speak up if any issue arises without fear. Equality for work contribution and pay must be a norm and at home, men must also contribute to the domestic chores. There is still a long way to go but we can go when we take a step together.