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  • Shantanu Dubey

Euality for Women: A Hope

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– Ms. Mansi Patro (Research Associate NLUO)

Human beings are considered as social animals. They are what they can be or what they intend to become because of society. Thousands years ago, they were helpless creatures. However, a perceptible improvement was marked when human ingenuity devised a subtle way of living to end the chaotic state of affairs prevalent in the society. This novel way of living meant for amiable, peaceful and orderly way of life by eliminating the unhappy ambiance. As a result every Adam was enjoined to delve, leaving every Eve to span and this equal division of labour granting every male and female equal status in life.

The aforesaid change thus brought about good living for sometime till selfishness and myopic consideration started degradation of the social fabric by slow and steady invasion of rights. The net result was that an invidious distinction crept in and man dominate woman by denying the latter their legitimate rights and subjugating them to a position of mere helots. This was well pronounced in the hysteric call given by man saying ‘ A woman, a dog and a wed- nut tree, the more you beat them the better they be’. The male chauvinism, epitomised by the aforesaid saying, kept the women confined to the hearth and the four corners of the house. The male partner was looked upon as a staple source of sustenance of the family and became the dominating personality who enjoyed an unassailable authority in the family.

After generations of hassle in the past decades there have been huge changes for women in terms of employment in India. These days women are diving into paid employment that their grandmothers and even their mothers could only dream of. The state policies, plans and programs have been designed for women’s advancement in many spheres. In our Constitution the principle of gender equality is enshrined in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also mandated the State to adopt various measures to neutralize the discrimination and to bring parity in the field of socio-economic, education and political disadvantages faced by them. The Fundamental Rights of our constitution ensure equality before the law and equal protection of law and prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and guarantee equality of opportunity to all citizens in the matters relating to employment. Articles 14, 15, 15(3), 16, 39(a), 39(b), 39(c) and 42 of our Constitution provides specific guidelines in this regard. The State has also provided legislative measures in order to ensure equal rights, to counter social discrimination and various forms of violence and atrocities and to provide support to working women.

Women are introducing themselves into various jobs that used to be done by men, working in factories to the corporate world as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). However, they are still lower paid than men. They have to adjust themselves with little protection and few rights. A “Glass Ceiling” is an invisible barrier exists beyond the thoughts of the women and these hidden parameters always become the hurdles for the middle and top management in their career advancement. This is the main reason for less percentage of women in the top & middle management than men. “Glass Ceiling” is a corporate given word, which means unacknowledged barrier for women, which stop them to achieve heights of success not only in corporate world, but also in other sectors like banking, politics, education, etc. The report of ‘Legal think tank Vidhi Centre for Legal policy’ shows that out of 16,660 judges in lower courts only 4,487 or 27%, 11% in high courts and 9% in the Supreme court were women. In a conference on Judicial diversity, Mr. Justice A. P. Saha, former Law Commission Chairman said that there was a marked bias when it came to choosing between man and woman of equal merit for judgeship. Almost invariably, the man is being selected.

The country or region can claim development in its real sense only with the support, co-operation and involvement of women. The civilized county is one where women enjoy equal status with that of her male counterpart and their participation in the development of the country.

There are though pockets of opposition amongst men who are still not willing to give women their rights, however, women in India creeping slowly step by step towards their goal of gender equality in all aspects of life.

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