This Independence Day, Let’s See The Glass As HALF FULL
No, we don’t intend to get up on the soapbox and lecture you about where women stand after all these years of India’s independence in terms of equality. As the world gets more and more close, (thanks to social media), we know pretty much that’s happening all around us.
Now, this Independence day, you can get into the nitty-gritty and see the glass half empty. You can go on and on about how women are still deprived of their basic rights and bashed up mentally, physically and sexually.
The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. With a decline in their status from the ancient to medieval times, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, their history has been eventful. But we don’t want to get into it too.
This Independence day, let’s try and see the glass half full. Let us focus on the so called, ‘positive side’ of the story. So here we have penned down two things / reforms that have made us feel like yes, something somewhere will improve.
1) The Vishakha Judgement
Of course you know about the ‘Vishakha vs state of Rajasthan’. In 1997, the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgment in the same Vishaka case laying down guidelines to be followed by establishments in dealing with complaints about sexual harassment. Vishaka Guidelines were stipulated by the Supreme Court of India, in Vishakha and others vs State of Rajasthan case in 1997, regarding sexual harassment at workplace. The court stated that these guidelines were to be implemented until legislation is passed to deal with the issue.
Saying so, we now have something to look up to. The Vishakha Judgement is one of the reasons, why a majority of women feel safe going to work. (at least to some percent)
2) The POSCO Act
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 was formulated in order to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 received the President’s assent on 19th June 2012 and was notified in the Gazette of India on 20th June, 2012.
In case you are not aware, as per the ordinance, death penalty will be given to those convicted of raping a child up to 12 years of age.
So, this is one more leap towards freedom, isn’t it?
The Bottom Line: Well, we are not saying that Indian has achieved Independence in true sense. There is a lot more to look into and it will take years to settle down the issues of women in the Indian society. But looking at the brighter side, it is not so bad either. There is a light of hope somewhere!