No matter how much science has progressed, nature always rules. Challenging the nature only invites disaster. In the world of “mankind,” men govern. God is referred to as “he”. The most revered Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are all males. Prophet Mohammad, Buddha, and Jesus Christ, none of these are women. The political, intellectual, social, and religious history of human civilization has a number of heroes and explorers, few of whom are women. The struggle for gender equality has a long history, but its realization still seems a far cry.
In an international conference of widows held in Kathmandu on the first week of February this year, participants from many South Asian countries shared their experiences regarding the discrimination against women and the hard life of widows. The participants, around 95 percent of who were middle-aged, had no doubt that women are treated as second-class citizens in their societies. The causes of omnipresent male domination were analyzed for hours, even during a short lunch break! Participants from the western world did not report such a high level of discrimination to women or too sad a plight of widows. But gender discrimination in terms of women’s participation in political sphere was a grave issue. “Women have literally no say in the decision making level, their number in the House of Representatives is very small, and more often than not, they are simply sidelined,” said a blonde.
Men reign in almost all societies. Yes, they do. But who is letting them do so?
Women. Knowingly and unknowingly, willingly and unwillingly, intentionally and unintentionally, women let their men reach the top, while they themselves stay at the bottom.
The greater responsibility of running the household that has belonged to women since ages has let men freely explore their opportunities and decide their destination. For instance, it takes nine months to turn a fetus into a mature baby, during which time the mother has to carry it in her womb. After childbirth, there are few natural roles that demand that none other than the mother be with the baby. This is something that can hardly be changed even if gender roles are altered for the sake of equality. And generally, a woman in her lifetime gives birth to more than one baby. In addition, it may be attributed to her softer, more caring, loving and understanding nature that she cannot help but lose herself for the sake of the children and family. It is she who ensures the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of her partner and family members.
Thus, women always get a lesser share of worldly success and achievement because they limit themselves to narrower roles compared to males. In the course of time, they have let the males go far beyond, and the gap between the two groups has only deepened over time, ultimately establishing male supremacy in the world.
And interestingly, the people born as males, irrespective of their capabilities, do not hesitate to consider themselves a heir to the ‘supremacy’ established by others far more capable than them. In our society, this male chauvinism is dangerously deep rooted–a major cause of alarming rates of domestic violence against women.
For instance, some of our leaders are not in favor of providing equal citizenship rights to men and women. They fail to accept women as individuals, and have no problem if a woman who raises her children singlehandedly is forced to kneel down before her abusive husband just for a signature, without which she cannot obtain citizenship for her children.
In the modern world, women rebel more easily and more powerfully. They hate to be shaped or controlled by others. This spirit will definitely make a difference. But since there are a number of layers in all societies, this change cannot be felt at once. Amidst this, what men should understand is, it is women who have let them win the race. After all, it is the believers who make the ‘God’. Without women’s support, men’s life and future collapses, and noticeably, it is not exactly vice versa.
The author is with Republica’s Social Bureau