Where is 'she'?

Women are missing - and not just from the text. Where is the empowerment?

shivangi

Shivangi Gupta | June 1, 2010



It is a man’s world after all. We even refer to God as he.

Even my liberal parents get a headache if one day I decide to come home late, whereas, my male friends wax eloquent about their after-hours escapades, which mostly are a ‘men-only’. Good girls stay in after dark; it’s not safe, you see.

I live in the national capital- a city bordering some of the biggest states of India. States, where being a girl is a birth defect. Why else would someone get rid of a foetus so eagerly, as if it was a malignant growth?

I have studied in one of India’s top b-schools, where, like most other b-schools of India, the gender ratio is more skewed than the states I was referring to.

Today, the editors of this magazine I work for get an idea. They want me to write a piece on gender equality in India. I could write an epic. They want it to be tongue in cheek, not grave. Easy for them to say- all of them are men. There you go with the gender equality, dear sirs. (Hope that was tongue in cheek enough.)

They show me a document titled “Brochure on Preparation & Maintenance of Annual Performance Assessment Report for Central Civil Services.” They tell me it refers to the employee as mostly he, him, his and not they, them, their or even he/she, him/her, his/her. If this is the case with an HR document of the GoI, how can they hope to succeed with the women’s reservation bill? They even view their employee as a man.

This is just a document, it doesn’t mean anything, I think. The gender situation is not so bad. Some of the most influential people in India right now are women (Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee- take your pick). Arguably, the most important Prime Minister we have had was a woman (Mrs. G). Even our current President is a woman! It’s not so bad.

Except that it is. Between 1970 and 2009, India has had 4480 IAS officers, out of which only 621 were women. Skewed gender ratio, did someone say? Perhaps we need reservation in civil services also, along with the parliament. And in the police forces, and in the military, and in the engineering colleges, and in the b-schools, and some more. And, after all of that, we need a society that does not typecast gender based roles. It is about time people stopped gushing about superwomen who managed a successful career along with playing able housewife. We need house-husbands for Christ’s sake!

Yet, I think there is hope. India, at least, has had women in top positions. Unlike a certain other superpower, which preferred a black man over a woman to contest for President. And no apologies for the racist tone, women have had it worse than black men!

Comments

 

Other News

HPCL, Tata Steel among National CSR Award 2020 winners

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, HDFC, Tata Steel and Tech Mahindra are among the winners and the recipients of honourable mentions in the National CSR Awards 2020 announced by the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) on Thursday. The MCA instituted the annual National Corporate Social Respon

India’s tree lovers get together for a nation-wide tree festival

A good monsoon has left the trees all washed and spruced up. It’s right time to take a good look at them, and also to tell the young generation about their diversity. So, tree lovers across the country have joined hands to celebrate a festival of trees this month. The August Tree Fest

How did a policeman move unarmed and fearlessly for 37 long years in Bihar?

Unbounded: My Experiments with Law, Physics, Policing and Super 30 By Abhayanand Rupa Publications, 344 pages, Rs 595   Abhayanand has

India@75: A timely study of the state of the nation

India after 1947: Reflections & Recollections By Rajmohan Gandhi Aleph, 118 pages, Rs 399 Rajmohan Gandhi was about 11 when India won independence. As the nation celebrates 75 years of freedom, how would he – and others like him – feel?

BMC denies protocol breach in ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has rebutted a Shiv Sena leader’s allegation of breach of protocol in the implementation of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. On Friday Rahul Shewale, group leader of Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha, had accused BMC commissioner IS Chahal

Mumbai`s stalled building projects: Is self-redevelopment the real solution?

Land in Mumbai city, which is surrounded by water on three sides, is scarce and has a premium. Property prices in certain areas of financial capital of the country are as much as Rs 1 lakh per sq ft. Yet, 5,800 buildings have been lying in a stalled condition for the last 18 years. Meanwhile

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter