Friday, March 8, 2013

Empowering Women is the Only Route to Progress: International Women's Day Special

Was asked to give an interview for an article a friend was writing for
The Interview I gave:
1. Rallies, protests and what not happened after the horrific Delhi rape incident but did it change ground realities or women still adhere to 'do not dress in a certain way' to feel secure in their country? –
I think life continued. Not much has changed. Until we change the mindset within homes, until we stop judging people, until we’re afraid of authorities, nothing is going to change. The system needs to protect the women. It doesn’t matter if there are less police force per population. Those many should raise fear in the rapists and have compassion for women. Only then, can our nation change.

2. Would women always be helpless? Not equipped with the muscle power, how do women feel secure? –
Women should not feel helpless but they should also understand that looking at life through rose tinted glasses is not going to keep you safe. You must carry a pepper spray if possible, learn some martial arts, protect yourself if you’re walking alone at night in alleys by being aware of who is around, keeping friends informed of where you are, spend a little more in taking a cab back home instead of being overtly brave and using public transport sometimes, learn to not trust strangers as much. I’m not saying do it every day. I’m saying be aware of when you need to. Stop being a good girl and be a safe girl!
3. In the recent budget, the government announced a 'Nirbhaya fund.' will this change ground realities or is it just a politically motivated move by the government?
Even if it is a politically motivated tactic, any fund that helps protect women is good. I’m just worried what would happen if the fund runs out. Would the police officers employed stop protecting women then? Will the transport companies that are only for women stop working? It’s really a stop – gap method to solve the problem. While it will help in the short run, it may not solve the problem completely.
4. Many believe that women empowerment leads to fragmented societies, increase in divorce rates and disintegration of society. So you think it holds any water and what causes the above mentioned problems if not empowerment?
Empowerment is the only solution for progress! Empower each and every woman in your country and your nation can take over the world. Fragmented societies are nothing but old mindsets that are sticking to old beliefs while the progressive minds take a leap into the future.
5. Has the Delhi gang rape changed women in India?
Yes. They are shocked and horrified and upset with the lack of safety that this country provides for them. They are united in their stand to help each other rather than look the other way.
6. There is a massive difference between rural and urban women. Has this changed with the Nirbhaya case?
There will always be a divide. One case can’t change an entire system. But the awareness of safety, rights and privileges has started.

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