We must admit that our society is basically patriarchal and is being dominated by males. We may now claim the credit of constitutional equality between men and women but the bitter reality is that we have to go a long way to establish a safe and honourable position of women in our society. We may see some bright exceptions, but that is not sufficient to shatter the stronghold of male dominance. In general, the dignity of women has not been uniformly and continuously maintained in our country.
One of the most inhuman practices of our society is the dowry system. It turns the brides into a saleable commodity like cattle in the market of marriage! Her sufferings do not cease even with the ceremony of marriage. In many cases, the young brides are tortured or pushed to suicide or homicide by the husbands and the in-laws so that the grooms can marry anew for a dowry larger than before!!
Physical assault on women is also frequent in our day-to-day life. Many illiterate and uncultured brutes beat their wives as they are weak, helpless creatures. At fairs and festivals, in crowded places, and in the buses the lynx-eyed brutes carry on irritation and physical assault on the weaker sex.
The ladies who bear some yellow metal become the easy prey of the miscreants, especially the chain-snatchers. It is often heard that thwarted lovers mutilate their lady love’s face by throwing acid bulbs, etc. The greed of money or frustration in love is not the only motivating force behind the crimes against women. Sex hunger is another vital point. Young girls are sometimes cheated and blackmailed into a life of vice. This is the story of a lot of women in the red-light areas of various cities. Molestation and rape is another tragedy of women. Sexual harassment also occurs in the offices or in working places, mostly in the night shifts. If we want to feel the urge to stop this nuisance of our social milieu, we have to know the experiences of the working women from the starting bus stop to the place of their work where they are the objects of the vulture eyes of the males. Eve-teasing on the streets is also indirect violence on women.
If this trend has to be checked, more strict laws should be activated. Our social workers and NGOs should come forward to form public awareness. Moreover, there should be some restraints on movies and TVs showing too much sex and violence. The obscene hoardings should also be banned. Finally, the women’s organizations themselves should shoulder much of the responsibility to check violence against women in our society.