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Fulfillment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth

By June 28, 2022No Comments
Feminism was the movement that gave rise to the idea of the “new woman” almost a century ago. It was an ideal that powerfully conveyed the necessity for women to live independent lives, to be in charge of their own destiny, and to question a culture that is predominately male. This began with women attending universities and progressing to careers like as law, medicine, and other professions of their choice.

Even in the twenty-first century, realising “new women” in India is still a pipe dream. The pre-independence era’s discriminatory treatment of women is the primary factor impeding women’s upward mobility. Women were denied access to employment, adequate living conditions, social awareness, education, and other opportunities.

Has the situation improved recently, if we pose that question? Both yes and no are the answers. It is a yes because there are a small number of women who are employed in various fields of endeavour. However, the answer is no because women are still perceived as a burden, they still suffer safety concerns, and there are many more reasons.

Concerns have been raised about the use of the money given to different states by the Nirbhaya fund, which is overseen by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This fund is intended to ensure that safety is not compromised. Although the government made every effort to stop horrible crimes against women, there is still an issue with the states’ underuse of funding. Data published in the Hindu newspaper shows that West Bengal and Maharashtra have used less than 1% of the monies provided.

There is now no reservation for women in the Indian parliament, which keeps the proportion of female lawmakers below the 24.6 percent global average. 14.39 percent of the market is the share. Between 2008 and 2018, there were only 9 states where the average percentage of women in state legislative assemblies was greater than 10%. These statistics show the type of trend we have imposed on the world situation.

According to sample registration system data, the issue of female foeticide—the deliberate death of a foetus even before it is born—has dramatically increased between 2013 and 2018. The sex ratio at birth in 2013 was 909 females for every 1000 males, whereas it was 896 females for every male in 2018. In a time when we talk about development and modernity, the data actually shows a completely different reality.

There is a gap once more when we discuss the relationship between education and employment trends. It is shockingly rare for girls to go in graduate school and for women to have salaried employment. The majority of girls are nevertheless obliged to finish college in order to eventually take on family responsibilities. Few people actually discover how to get out of their shell and enjoy an independent life. The cost of this is also high due to social and familial discrimination as well as administrative obstacles.

India has abundant resources. Our human resources are a significant asset. Women’s unrealized potential is a hindrance to our business and society. Although we can be proud of the young women scientists behind achievements like the Mangalyaan project, the reality is that for many of these young females who aspire to make history with their work, it remains a faraway dream.

Realizing “new woman” does continue to be a fiction as of right now. However, it might disappear in due course. The ability of the government to put its laws into action and the ability of society to accept the change will determine whether the ideal ever becomes a reality.