Why are Indian women denied the freedom of walking on the streets of their own city fearlessly - broad daylight or not! Can they not use their own judgment of appropriate dressing when stepping out of the house - not one stipulated by our narrow-minded society? What would it take to let a girl enjoy her own personal space in a crowded marketplace - without being rubbed against, pinched or felt up? This is the 21st century and in this day and age, to read something as horrific as the molestation incident at many places leaves you in despair about the state of the country. It is not important whether the girl was drinking or not - no one has the right to hurt and brutally humiliate another human being. Clearly, education has not taught the key instigators even the basic principles of life, while the law seems able only to react, not prevent. The world will not change for our daughters until we make a change in our sons.
As mothers, there are things we can do, some simple steps to make that change. If we call ourselves a generation of empowered women and informed mothers, surely the least we can do is to ensure our sons are not the ones responsible for a woman's discomfort at any level in the future. This is now a global movement, one from which India cannot afford to be left alone.
"Mothers need to wipe out gender stereotypes completely. These stereotypes are the first indicators to children that boys and girls are not equal and as they grow up, they will take this gender imbalance in status and power as a given,” A simple first step is to sensitise children that household chores have nothing to do with gender. Housework is work too and needs to be valued and respected just like any other work.
There is a need for creating an environment where both men and women can opt for professions of their choice freely. "Traditional roles of women as homemakers and men as breadwinners imposed by society have only reinforced the gender imbalance. A man may prefer to take on the role of a homemaker and he should be able to make his life choices without hesitation. You may not realise the impact today, but imagine the positives of a whole generation of young men who don't believe in any kind of gender discrimination."
Mr Dheeraj Kumar