This 26th January marks the 70th Republic of our country. And the beginning of the year touched upon an emancipated milestone. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi led an all-male contingent of 144 army personnel this 71st Indian Army Day held on January 15, 2019. This was the first time ever in the history of India that a female officer has led the army day parade. She’ll lead the army contingent on Rajpath too at the Republic Day Parade.
As we marvel at this moment of up-and-coming, we also need to reflect upon how our nation has come around in these last 69 years. While we have established a significant impetus financially, economically and in the field of technology since our independence and the formulation of our own independent governing system thereon, the plight of women in India gravely needs to be addressed.
The Not So Liberated Woman
The Constitution of India testifies and honors various rights for the women of our country. Equality for women, equality of opportunity, equal pay for equal work, special provisions for women, condemning any derogatory practices and discrimination against women and securing just and comfortable working conditions for women are the stated fundamental rights that are extended to each and every woman of India.
Unfortunately, a sad state of affairs prevails in our society wherein the Indian woman is anything but liberated. However educated and progressive we claim ourselves to be, truth be told, India is still engulfed in a regressive patriarchal system. Yes, the graph of women’s position in the Indian society ever since the implementation of our Constitution has been consequential, there are still far too many lapses in how our Indian society perceives the women, working women in particular. The plight of women in rural India is all the more dejected.
Not just rural, urban India too is infested with this blotch of inequality. According to a 2017 study by Monster Salary Index, there is an acute difference between the wages of men and women of same qualifications and work roles in our country. Women have to constantly prove their mettle at work front and are expected to dabble perfectly in their household chores as well.
Women constitute only 30% of the Indian Software industry and that itself is indicative of the unbalanced work ratio in our country. In technical field, the state of affairs is quite dismal with not even a single female director in any of the 15 top tech companies in India.
Unleashing The Future
As goes the adage, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women and rightfully so. Our system calls for major revolutionizing in that the way we treat our women. We need to proactively work towards bringing about gender equality. Social stereotyping of women needs to be stopped. Rural India strongly needs to be educated against female feticide and we need to encourage more and more families there to educate the girl child. Lower literacy rate of women compared to men only goes to prove the wide gender disparity prevalent in our society. There should also be ample awareness about women sanitation.
The Feisty Driving Forces
Despite all these disparities and the ever emerging challenges, a lot of strong willed and driven women in India have managed to break through the glass ceiling and are paving the way for women empowerment.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founded Biocon in 2006 -one of India’s first biotech companies, was rated India’s richest self-made woman in 2018.
Catching on with the objective of accrediting our women, the government announced a decision to allow women to take up combat roles in all sections of army and navy. In 2018, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi of Indian Air Force became the first Indian female fighter pilot to fly solo and has the highest recorded landing and take- off speed of MiG-21 in the world.
Shobhana Bhartia, Zia Mody, Suneeta Reddy, Vinita Bali, Indra Nooyi, Aruna Jayanthi, Leena Nair are some other names of strong fierce women who are at top notch managerial positions.
Such inspiring women come as a fresh beacon of hope to reshape our system. The recently begun #MeToo movement in India called out on any form of harassment against women- domestically and professionally and amassed widespread support from men and women alike. This was a much needed step to streamline our Indian society.
Although we can’t change things overnight, efforts invested in this cause can improve things progressively to provide a safer, non-judgmental and appreciative India for our women.
Peachmode strongly believes in this cause and this Republic Day urges all Indians to pledge and bring about this much needed reform. Celebrate the spirit of Republic Day in our beautiful tricolor collection!