For ages, women have suffered under the patriarchal society, succumbing to the likes of men. It is no rocket science to know the situation of women in the bygone days – the historical movies today have well exhibited it. However today, owing to the brave women who, putting their safety at stake, have voiced for our basic rights, we are currently on the fourth wave of feminism where women’s suffrage or reproductive rights are no more a question.
What we are fighting for today is in extirpating the culture of rape, body shaming and sexual harassment to name a few. It is about empowering women and lending a hand to those who are still caving in to patriarchy. In a nutshell, the fourth wave of feminism is about women empowerment in this internet-driven world.
Women empowerment is about uplifting the status of women in every sense of the term: economically, socially, politically and physically through education, awareness and literacy. It is about making women powerful enough to be taking decisions for themselves: something men have been doing for us for ages.
Sadly, there are still millions of Indian women living in the throes of what women in the west have alreadt been through decades ago. While most urban women have apparently moved past the patriarchs and have found a place for themselves in the society, there dwells thousand other women in the remotest corners of India, whose voices are still suppressed.
But how do we raise our standards in a society that has long been and is still being dominated by men? Is education all it takes to uplift our status? Well, the foremost thing is how you think about yourself.
The life of a woman no more revolves around the four walls of the house and being hell bent in serving the husband and doing household chores. It sure is important to have a ‘significant other’ and take care of him but thinking about self is equally important if not more as the saying goes, “You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others.”
Like anyone else, we too are destined for great things and it can only be accomplished by changing the stories we tell ourselves. The saying that men are the head of a household is passé. With the same cognitive abilities and intellectual capability, why can’t we? On that note, it is important that we set a definite goals for ourselves as well. As we embark our journey in a women era , being able to support ourselves and remaining independent is highly crucial. Attaining an age of maturity signifies that we are entitled to our own decisions and we have the right to live an unfettered life of our choice.
Is there a job you have long been aspiring for? Are there skills you want to learn? Go for it. Only then will you be able to support yourself financially. What was the life of a woman like years back? Getting engrossed in domestic chores and solicit money from husbands even for things as small as grocery shopping.
Hence, many women, despite being in unhappy or abusive relationships endured it, hiding away their pain since they had no economical means to be on their own. On that note, it is important that you earn enough to be able to look after yourself and your family and to become more independent. As women, we are usually considered to be obligated towards taking care of our husband, kids as well as in-laws. While the act of benevolence is our moral responsibility not just as a wife but as a human, it should be noted that thinking and living for self is equally important. This can involve taking care of yourself better or making your own decisions independently instead of the male members of your family assuming the role of your ‘Parens patriae’.
Lastly, it is important that we raise our voice and be able to defend ourselves reasonably. Even today, the imprint of patriarchy still remains in many parts of our country and hence, many Indian women, despite being educated and independent are abstained from being vocal due to certain circumstances they are under. Should you come across any such woman, give them a nudge and encourage them to raise their voice and if not, be a role model for them. After all isn’t this what women empowerment is all about?