When it comes to feminism, where do we stand?

Again, Feminism is making its rounds. Amongst the top news that is rocking and trending our society right now, Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into active politics and Sabarimala issue ranks in the first few positions. The important aspect of both these stories are not the news in itself, but the public’s reaction to it. When one sort of people, vehemently stood for the old way of things, another group supported a change while a third type watched these two silently.  End result? The topic feminism got exploited according to their needs, with each providing their own version of what constitutes as feminism and who is a feminist. This brings the question ‘What is feminism and what’s our country’s stand in it?’, into focus.

On a Variety magazine interview, actress Priyanka Chopra once said, “Feminism needs men”. While her opinion might not sit well with some, in that interview she defined feminism in clear and simple words. According to her, feminism is providing equal opportunities without judging the female sex for the decisions they make, providing them the same freedom which the men enjoyed for a long time.

Feminism is about seeing woman distinctively for their abilities but treating them equally. May it be opportunities, job, education, freedom of speech, expression etc, should be provided equally. Is this the state in India?

On one side, women entrepreneurs, leaders and achievers are being recognized lately, on the other hand, women empowerment measure like banning triple talak system, sabarimala issue etc are faced with down-right hatred and violence. Though, on one hand, women participation on politics and sports is gaining significance, the number of rapes, sexual violence, women trafficking is going off the charts, where the victim is blamed for her attire, job, and social status.

Feminism in India is versatile and diverse and is built upon women groups, political party networks, NGOs, and much more. However, this space still remains disunited both in its cause and its principles. While political feminism in India has evolved into a driving force, with many actors and other media people, coming in support in large numbers. Sadly, even this support is not enough for the number of issues that is prevalent. This will become the legacy that we will be gifting our future generation if we fail to act on it.

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