What is it that women of today want????? I am stressing on the words ‘women of today’ because the wants of women have changed according to modernization in the current age.
In a country like India the first thing a woman would want is safety. I believe that all the women would cry out the same mantra to men, ‘ You live and let me live.’
Then there will be no question about being treated specially, giving special protection to women, making separate compartments in local trains for women, separate queue for women, keeping separate lifts for women, reserving separate seats in public transports for women. If men start respecting women, automatically these special privileges can be withdrawn. This will help in reducing a number of women related crimes that have been happening. If we look at a news channel or read the newspaper today there is at least some news related to an incident that has occurred to defame a woman’s morale. Topping the charts is - crime against women. If I were to talk about equality here, crimes like murder and theft also occur when men are the victims but women are made to suffer with an extra added crime of sexual harassment. Here’s where women of our country want equality. Why treat us this way? Men need an attitude change. Why blame it on our dressing sense or our free spirit? I think every woman having a girl child will question herself today, ‘Will my daughter be safe in this world?’ At the same time a if mother having a boy teaches her son respect from the beginning she will be able to give one decent man to the nation. Wish there could be a magic wand and we could change the attitude of men towards women with just a single wish.
The next topic to consider will be at the level of admissions in school, college, employment sector – private or corporate. Women of today want equality. At least women who hail from educated families and have encouraging parents do not demand reservation of seats or special privileges to get admission. At the same time, women who hail from a society which still doesn’t believe in educating a girl child, more encouragement is required. There have been many schemes and campaigns like ‘Education for Girl child’, ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana’, ‘ Scholarship for a single girl child’ just because our country consists of a majority of population which still is of the belief of not educating a girl child. There are still cases of female foeticide that exist. In order to save a girl child from such atrocities schemes favouring a girl child have been made. Again it is all about one’s attitude. If the mentality of that population changes and they are willing to educate a girl child such privileges are not required. Women are forced to get that privilege here.
Women are given preference in some of the engineering and management colleges and also given a raised age bar limit for certain national level entrance examinations in order to help them to move forward. The nation is trying to uplift the status of the women which has not been considered so far. If only families could support the education of women, we would not like availing these extra privileges. Why do women hesitate to work for late hours at the work place? They fear travelling alone at night in public or private transport. There are also instances of work place harassment against women. They do not receive enough support from their family. The family members get worried about a woman’s safety. Women also tend to lose or turn down important roles fearing they might not be able to give 100% to their work. Here’s where women want to treated equally. If we get to live just like men do why want such privileges. Men complain saying that in an interview for reputed educational institutions the admission the panel will prefer taking more women despite their lack of knowledge. They say, women have a reserved quota. Why degrade women in such a way. If all men start thinking alike by supporting women in all walks of life, for example completing a management degree, special privilege is not required. If a woman is well educated and well qualified she is capable of even getting admission in all the colleges in our country or even abroad. She doesn’t need a special quota. Men also complain about the raised age limit for some entrance exams for women. There are two kinds of career breaks a woman can experience. One is after marriage and one after she enters motherhood. If she is supported in her endeavours she would be able to take exams at any point of time. Marriage or motherhood would not stop her from taking any exams. Age limit equality can also be maintained.
Next in question is - Why special corporate policies for women only and not for men? The recent buzz has been about corporate companies raising the duration of maternity leaves and also giving some benefits for women who have taken a career break or a sabbatical. Well, the companies have tried to also introduce paternal leaves but they have concentrated more on maternal leaves. Women require extra privilege here because unfortunately biological systems of men are not endowed with the gift of reproduction. So, women have to be given special treatment here. Regarding, maternity leave and its duration, a women would love to join back to work post-delivery as soon she and her child are in a healthy state, only if family members mainly, husband agrees to help. If men were to utilize their paternity leave and help the woman in child care, a woman would be able to recover fast and also get back to work quickly. Question about - Why women should be given sabbatical or child care leave is also answered with my above statement. If attitude of men change and they lend a helping hand the scenario changes. A woman can juggle between her work life as well as family life with equal support from husband. Since companies are not seeing a major change in the attitude of men and a change so drastic cannot be sudden, they decided to introduce women friendly policies to encourage them. It is a good initiative for women who do not have support in their families. They get a chance to have a career for themselves. Then their goal is not only taking care of family and the child but also about taking care of themselves. A major attitude change is required.
Even when it comes to employing a female candidate, employers fear their stability in the organization. They fear that women might leave job citing reasons such as marriage and child birth. Only certain employers have created such policies to prevent women from leaving their jobs. At the same time if the family where a husband has a major role, supports his wife and encourages her to continue with her work and pursue her career goals, employers will be more relieved and there would never arise a chance of discrimination.
After putting down all my view I would like to answer this question: ‘Do women want to be treated specially or equally? – Do men know the difference?’
Women want to be treated equally only if the attitude of men changes. Women are being given special privilege that is because of the lack of support systems around them. If only men learn to as a normal human being by encouraging women there could be so much equality.