It is a paradoxical world, especially for the women. While there is growing consciousness about the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, incidents of eve teasing, rapes, domestic violence and other crimes against women keep increasing in frequency and levels of ghastliness. The recent episode of the alleged thrashing of a girl by Punjab policemen in district Tarn Taran invokes a fresh bout of fear, insecurity and apathy faced by women in Punjab. Is there a way for a lady to lead a respectful and independent life of her own choice?
HT City asks some prominent women achievers from the region...
Shruti Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar
“It is now time for the society to become tough against criminals and for the women to be more aware of their rights. The problem is that women tend to evade taking a stand against injustice in any form. They need to shirk off their ‘let it be’ attitude, and start retaliating then and there. It is also important that we inculcate values of equality in our children during their years of growing up. Through my position as a deputy commissioner, I am trying to ensure that issues of eve-teasing and domestic violence decrease. We have set up a special cell for women that is being run by my team and we strive to eradicate these shameful acts.”
Nirupama Dutt, Veteran journalist and art critic
“The men of our country should be sensitised about issues of violence against women and there should be suitable punishment given to those found guilty of committing crimes against women. Remedy has to come from the other side, women alone cannot make a difference. If people are genuinely concerned about women, they should start making conscious and concerted efforts towards abating violence against them. What our system actually needs is sex education for children. It is not only a woman who is being raped; innocent children are also being made prey now. Sex education would at least help the children differentiate between a wrong touch and right touch. ”
Neel Kamal Puri, Lecturer and writer
“It is not possible to bring about changes overnight in the society and neither can we police the whole world. However, on an individual level a change is possible, which would at least help change the society’s outlook towards a woman. Women should make such choices that make people living with them begin to view them differently. Young girls should aim for a good career rather than aiming to get married early. Even post marriage, a woman should have the liberty to take care of her maternal family. I would also advise young brides to not force their parents to spend more on their weddings than their capacity allows. After all, a girl’s family has an equal right to feel as important as the groom’s parents.”
Dhanpreet Kaur Randhawa, SSP, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar
“In this unfortunate era where there is an ever-increasing spate of crimes against women, there is one symptom that hints at women empowerment — from an average of 10 complaints that we receive everyday, at least four come from women, out of which at least two are related to domestic violence. However, the negative aspect is that many of these reports don’t get registered. But, I believe it is encouraging that at least women are coming forward to lodge complaints and protest against injustice — be it eve teasing, sexual assault or rape. I just want the women to speak up.”