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Importance of Gender Sensitivity – By R Nikhil, IX Std, Chennai

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In every wo(man) there is a man. As our eyes are the light of our body, the women are the light of the society. There is no creation of man without a woman. Women should be treated with respect in all humility bestowing on them, equality and dignity as mothers and sisters. Both men and women are two sides of a coin of the society.

In our democratic country, every woman has equal rights in terms of education, employment, social, economic and political leaderships.

Gender Sensitivity

Gender sensitivity is a very sensitive issue and it prevails in many countries including India.Despite all progress in art, literature, governance and science & technology, we have not been able to remove the gender discrimination. Men still dominate over women. Gender inequality fuels violence against women and results in power imbalances.

According to latest statistics, Afghanistan, Congo, India, Pakistan & Somalia are the five countries that are dangerous for women in the issues of health, discrimination, cultural, sexual violence and trafficking.

Swami Vivekananda had avowed that the idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence. His quote shows that India still lacks a complete independence even after more than 6 decades of freedom from the clutches of British rule.

Many more philosophers, ancients and poets like Thiruvalluvar, Subramania Bharathiyar have raised the concerns of women.

Nirbhaya

Gandhiji stated “when a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, we can say India has achieved the real independence”. But the recent Nirbhaya’s incident in Delhi has put India to a national shame. Last month she was gang raped while travelling in a bus and that too in our country’s Capital! She was a brave heart who fought valiantly but lost the battle. This brutality raises the question of whether India has really got freedom even after 60 years of independence!

There was national angst over the incident and people are still seeking immediate justice and capital punishment for the criminals without further delay. It is said that like Nirbhaya, there have been many more victims in the urban and rural areas of our country but without media support, with muscle and money power their cases have not been brought to public notice. The crime even without being made public is also a crime.

One cannot deny that the crimes against women are of deep concern in India. For every severe crime, there should be quick punishment with transparency of true investigation.

In days gone by, as we read in mythology and history women held a pride place in the society. In fact, religious ceremonies required her presence beside her husband. Over the centuries, invaders raided our motherland, values steadily eroded and we find we have no choice but lament this dismal and insecure environment.

The role of Government

Our dailies bring us some news or the other about ill treatment being meted out to women in some parts of the country. Who should we blame for this criminal activities? Do we blame the perpetrators, whose minds are filled with patriarchal and chauvinistic thoughts, for such brutal crimes? Do we blame the Establishments for having failed to provide adequate security for our women? Or do we blame the legal systems that are weak and need amendments? It is a collective responsibility of all.

Liquor is another instrument for criminalities and is the root cause of all evils. Both literate and illiterate youth become easily addicted to drinking habits and some of them even involve themselves in criminal activities. Therefore, liquor must be banned in our country. The government should rather start looking at generating money by approaching other income resources than expecting to receive huge amount of money from liquor sales.

The government with the help of NGOs should play a major role in disciplining the youth in terms of literacy and their knowledge about gender sensitivity, their dressing sense, attitude and behaviour, etc.

The government has to identify the problematic and crowded areas and install CCTVs and cameras to have surveillance for movements of people and provide adequate securities to save people especially the women from the criminal activities. This surveillance monitoring system will create an awareness and sense of fear among people who tend to violate government rules or commit sexual harassment with women. The government and NGOs should foster sexual harassment awareness programme through videos, brochures, posters to reach out to public in an easiest and fastest manner.

Night drops for female employees working in software companies and institutions need to be regularly monitored. Safety of women should be ensured and the drivers’ movements and antecedents should be under scanner. Men committing crimes against women must be penalized with capital punishment. The criminals should not be let off using money power and political influence.

The role of youth/ society

India has youth with multi faceted talents and the future of India lies in the hands of the youth but their minds are becoming devils’ workshops by using advanced technologies for evil purposes rather than for betterment of society. At this juncture, all women especially the youth should get trained in protecting themselves from being harassed. The youth have to realize their role, their power and their responsibilities.

In the schools and colleges, the male and female students can have friendships but a distance should be maintained by them. The students above 8th standard should be taught about gender sensitivity in the school. They should also be informed about natural lust, sexual attraction and addiction. Besides, schools and colleges should be advised to instruct their students to wear decent dresses.

Harassment does not mean only rape or physical abuse more than that women face different kinds of violence, such as sexual and lewd remarks, starring at somebody with lustful eyes, touching a person in an indecent manner, sending explicit emails and MMS, enquiring somebody’s sex life, pestering somebody for a date, etc. Facebook and youtube being used in India should be monitored and controlled. Some websites encouraging horror sex movies must be banned in India rather the people should be involved in education and spiritualism. Education alone doesn’t discipline a person. With the support of spiritualism they can lead a pure, peaceful and successful life.

The youngsters may be encouraged to the effective use of social networking sites to organize virtual campaigns, petitions, protests, etc.

Our Legal system

India’s legal system is still weak and needs amendments with immediate effect. India needs tougher laws. In our country there are laws but many of the laws are broken with corruption and muscle power. The money buys the people and weakens the law. All the courts should be allowed to function independently without any political intervention in the judicial systems. Glad to know that over the Nirbhaya gang rape incident, our law ministry has approved Rs. 80 crore for recruitment of 2000 more judges across the country for fast-track courts to deal with major and national sensitive cases. These courts should be left to be functioning independently. Let’s wait and watch how effectively they are going to be used to function.

Everyone is aware that our country is being usurped at all levels with ugly headed monster-corruption that is weakening even our judiciary. The people should neither corrupt nor be corrupted. Law should be equal to all irrespective of gender, caste, colour, creed or status. Every Indian must respect the law with their full conscience. All the criminals found to be guilty in brutal rape case must be brought to be booked immediately and given severe punishment that should be a deterrent to others. All the criminals’ photos should be flashed and visible to the public. Justice may be delayed but should not be denied. For every crime, the punishment should be quick and severe. Only by doing so, the crime rate in our country will see drastic change. The more the punishment the less the crime. If there is no serious consideration of this and as long as our law is weak, the crime against women will continue to be higher. Government and NGOs should support the fast track courts for punishing rapists / criminals for ensuring safety for woman.

Conclusion

Each female is a gift of God. For their sustainable livelihood, International community, the government and the private sectors, non-governmental associations, advocacy groups, the private sector, the academic community and others are extremely important for taking efforts to end violence against women and lead a violence free incredible India. Many organizations across the country are involved in women empowerment and the recent launch of CII Task Force on Safety and Security for Women and Indian Women Network (IWN) is a landmark and a welcome move for women.

There should be true maintenance of good governance and law and order in our country for safety of women. The youth should focus for an India of free from poverty, unemployment, inequality, exploitation and discrimination.

Let us respect women and give them safety and security. Let’s build India. Jai Hind!

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