November 25 The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Violence comes in a variety of hues. Wilfully depriving a woman, a young girl of her basic right that includes her right to primary education as well. Turning a blind eye to young girls working in the fields, along with their parents, is a sure sign of rot that has set in the much hyped society of ours. Subjugation of women as a class, under one pretext or other has been the hallmark of almost all the societies in the world. The tragedy is that even in the modern era so called educated class of divine people subscribe to the subjugation as the ‘Will of the God’. They cover it up under the oft-repeated statements – ‘it is their destiny’, they don’t want to change, what can we do?’

I have often narrated the pathetic situation prevailing in the rich belt of south Gujarat where a 5th standard or 6 th standard pass woman cannot read a simple Gujarati word. Every time I spot a new woman in her 30s working in the neighbourhood I invariably ask her these questions and do you care to know what the answer is? Today was no different. When I asked one such woman, she could not read a word properly and her quick response was that her children go to school.

There is no dearth of predators lurking around to take advantage of such women. A young married woman, violently mistreated, harassed by her own spouse shudders at the thought of lodging a police complaint. Despite positive changes in the law, the police is content in trying to mediate to bring them together instead of ensuring that justice is done to the woman.

Most of my readers must have watched the path-breaking Gujarati movie, ‘Hellaro’. The reaction of most men, after watching the movie, is the same. The very same men still treat their own women not much differently even today.

There has to be a call for action, starting with putting our resources together to impart basic skills like reading, writing among women. 

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