Am 8. März, dem Internationalen Frauentag, wurde die 50. Radiosendung Prajnas Bharavasa Belaku („Hoffnungsschimmer“) Radioprogramms im All Air India Mangalore ausgestrahlt. Hier könnt ihr lesen, was gesagt wurde (auf Englisch)
„Ms Devika Shetty: I heartily welcome all the listeners of All India Radio , Mangalore Station to the 50th episode of „Bharavaseya Belaku programme”. March is a special month for women. “Many women, in many nations speak the language of silence”. This quotation is taken from a poem of poetess Mrs. Anasuya Gupta. Today we are in our studios, Prof. Hilda Rayappan, the Director of Prajna Counselling Centre , Ms. B.M.Rohini, a retired teacher, writer and social worker, Ms Jyothi Chelyur, a Kannada college lecturer and writer, and as Moderator we have, Mrs. Chandrakala Nandavara a retired College Principal and writer. In view of the International Women’s Day celebrations, we have a special discussion on women’s empowerment from different angles and its relevance to social Health. I welcome all the dignitaries for this programme.
Ms Chandrakala: We celebrate women’s day every year; This is really a happy moment for us. But I have a question. How long do we have to continue to face discrimination and neglect?. Today’s discussion is based on Women’s Empowerment and Social Health. I invite all the friends to this forum. Who says we Women are weak? Why is she considered as weak?. Is it due to her physique or is it her mental makeup? There is no answer for this from science or from the society. There has been no answer in the past or in the present and we cannot expect an answer even in the future also.To empower ourselves, we women have to be strong and have a good willpower. Different organizations have worked together for the empowerment of women. Prajna Counselling centre has also been working in this field since the last 2-3 decades. Prof. Hilda, what are the areas involved for the empowerment of women?
Prof Hilda: Women have to empower themselves in all areas of life, but economic empowerment is one of the major factors in women’s life. One of my old students expressed her feelings that, after her marriage, she has to depend on her husband even for her day to day expenses like toothpaste/combs, etc. She feels guilty for this and feels that if she has her own earnings, she can bear all these expenses and together she can support her husband to build a house for them. Yes, economic empowerment can bring dignity in life to her.
Ms Chandrakala: Is only economic independence enough to consider women as empowered .? What is your opinion Ms Rohini?.
Ms Rohini: I do not entirely agree with this. I have even seen many ladies who have a fixed income. They hand over their whole salary to their husband/father/mother and even for their daily expenses, they ask money from them. Once there was an impression that the woman who is employed gains financial, mental, cultural, educational independence and is an empowered one. Now it is clear that it is only the picture on the outer surface. When we study various instances of women, we see that in their inner self, they are hollow, though externally they may seem to be advanced. In villages, many women have lost their jobs due to mechanization or urbanization and at the same time in cities, opportunities are more for women to get jobs.
Ms Chandrakala : Rohini, what you say is exactly correct . Globalization is also one reason for the delay for women’s empowerment. You are saying that we have to discuss this in accordance of rural/urban context. People have a craving to migrate from villages to cities and from cities to foreign countries for jobs. Is there no end to this craving? Automatically, these changes in life style adversely affects women’s status in society and family. On the whole, women lose their dignity. Ms Jyothi, how do you analyse these matters ?
Ms Jyothi : According to a national report regarding women in rural areas, it says they lose their jobs and cottage industry relating to agriculture. Machines are introduced in agriculture and this adversely affects human labour. Automatically they lose their jobs. In urban areas, 3.5 million ladies earn from jobs. But compared to rural life, these women are working in a vulnerable situation. In this situation, they feel like bonded labour. They lose their independence and creativity and one thing we have to seriously think is that these jobs are not sufficient to give them financial stability, and also at home most women do not have independency in decision making. We have many examples of women whose ATM card is used by her husband and children. Even she doesn’t have money for her own purpose.
Ms. Chandrakala: Yes, women give up their dignity and migrate from rural areas to cities with their family. When we observe this, one question arises as to what they earn from such migration. Most of them live in tents and couples are working hard to meet their day-to-day requirements. If husband is an alcoholic and irresponsible to look after the family, wife herself has to work hard to bear the expenses of the family and children. Even for their education, marriage, etc, she will be forced to take loans. In these cases , how can we say that woman is not empowered. We have to make it clear that empowerment means inner consciousness and also outer circumstances, both are inter linked to one another. After woman leaves agriculture and migrates from village life to city life, due to illiteracy and low educational profile, she is only engaged for works like works as house-maid, washing, sweeping, etc. She is like a bonded labourer. Malls in the city open heartedly welcome her to do these unskilled works. She loses her identity, and self respect. With all these changes, in many cases women even today, are not capable to manage their money regarding their own requirements Global economy also targets her in all area of her life. Once we thought education makes her empowerment. Is it the true status ? .Even graduate and post-graduate girls also live in fear. Rohini, why, what fear these children have?. It looks like in our young age we were more confident and braver than these girls. Why? What is the reason for this?
Ms. Rohini : One news report says that every 3 minutes one atrocity against a woman takes place. every 77 minutes one dowry harassment case takes place, every 29 minutes there is one rape incidents, every 51 minutes there is one sexual harassment. When we hear these things, it make us wonder what is the reason for all these incident. For such perverted behavior of men, why are women being blamed. This suppresses her from empowering herself. Society blames the women only when atrocities take place. All this shows the hidden agenda of the society to supress her indirectly, so as to take control of her. 80% of working women are facing sexual harassment. One report says that in the above mentioned incidents, India leads first. All these things happen around us are obstacles for women’s empowerment.
Ms. Chandrakala: These are in human attitudes of the male ego which affects the whole society’s health, but society blames only women for these obstacles. I do not agree with this. What do you say Jyothi?
Ms. Jyothi : Education means not only literacy.Compared to the olden days, today literacy has increased, but reasons for these cases of violence is that society’s moral values have decreased and instead of that cruelty and violence have increased. This shows that the whole attitude of society indirectly suggests to her to go back to her home/ back to pavilion. Society itself treats her like a second class citizen. With the male superior, female with inferior attitude, she has to live like dependent of male/ husband only. Family and society both treat her that way. Women’s empowerment means family and society, both treat her as equal in all areas of life.
Ms. Chandrakala: Even after 60 years of independence, even today in society the attitude of suppression of women continues. It is only because of importance given to virginity of women.
Prof. Hilda : Woman has many good qualities like compassion, Kindness, giving nature, etc, whereas man has more strength and courage, which is considered superior to the qualities of women.
Men have an inner fear that if women are allowed to progress, they will overtake them. Hence, they are against the progress of women.
Ms. Chandrakala: May be, this is the reason for the violence against women and why men behave like this without the conscience . Rohini, what is your opinion towards this?
Ms Rohini: Child marriage is one of the major causes for the drawback in women’s empowerment. Even today, in India 1/3 of population is known to have practiced child marriage. In Karnataka State, it is 58% . After marriage with in 3 years, she becomes a mother and gets busy with her household work. Having no freedom to enjoy life, because of child marriage , she has to give up her education which is also one of the main reasons and obstacles for women’s empowerment.
Prof. Hilda: Violence, dispute between husband and wife, alcoholism of her husband, suspicious nature of her husband, women make women suffer. Nowadays, the number of women who seek divorce from the husband is increasing. In some cases, women leave the husband and keep children with them. For the husband uses his physical strength and beats the wife and children.
Ms. Chandrakala : Due to biological reasons, woman is not as strong as man. But psychologically, woman has more strength than man. For the well being of the society, man and woman have to go forward equally, only then, society can progress. A woman has to be empowered for the sake of the family. For a violence-free and peaceful society, men and women too have to understand each other and work together. Men should have a clear conscience and they should co-operate with women in their efforts to come forward in life. Men should become good fathers /husbands/brothers.
I thank all of those who have participated in this fruitful radio programme.“