Women’s questions and Justice for women from marginalized social groups in India
Happy international women's day to all of us to remember the contributions of people, who contributed to make this happened and many peoples are still contributing for strengthening this movement for rights and dignity, cheers to Us. #IWD2021
This year we are celebrating the 110th International Women's Day. International women’s day outcome of a strong labor movement to become a UN-recognized annual event. The sparks of it were started in 1908 when thousands of women marched through New York City for shorter working hours and better pay and the right to vote. The Socialist Party of America who first declared National Women’s Day a year later in 1909.
The Idea to celebrate of International woman day came from Clara Zetkin. She proposed this idea in 1910 at the international conference of working women in Copenhagen. In this conference women from 17 countries unanimously agreed for Celebrating International women day. Then, in the 1911 first celebration in the worldwide begins for dignity and equal rights. Subsequently, The United Nations made official in 1975 for celebrating the day and setting an annual theme.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Choose to Challenge”
The aimed for this year’s theme for a challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day and we can also choose to challenge collectively
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
In India, we have also a strong movement for gender justice and equal opportunities for women for the last four decades. We have to achieve a substantial result as far as women rights are concerned but due to complexity/ rigidity in our social and religious front, the process of getting women rights are slow. Patriarchy is a big obstacle for realizing gender justice in India.
Women have been subjugated for a long time in India and men are enjoying power in the name of family/society/caste/religion. Of course, things have changed in our county but we have to go far from her to achieve gender justice for all. Why I am saying for all? Over a period of time, some people/social groups have benefited from the Gender justice movement. But, still most of the marginalized group from women waiting for getting gender justice for dignity and equity in the private or public life. I have been working with most disadvantaged groups of women in the last 12 years in the most remote districts in India. I observed Patriarchy / Caste/religion/ region are still playing a big role in not getting gender justice. If we go to specifics, one of the basic things like the land right is not in the women’s name. Even women on the field for growing crops on the family land. But, still struggling to be recognize as farmers.In the ground, we have been facing caste and religious violence. And women are the most affected by that violence. But unfortunately, we have not found Strong voice from our mainstream group, who advocate for the rights of the women. Sometimes, I feel there is also a need for inclusion of all kind of people in the gender justice movement. Often, due to religious sentiment, mainstream women movement not taking rights of Muslim women. In this context, Dalit women have created their own platform to fight for gender justice for Dalit.
There is good news in this struggles, in our country, women’s from social minorities groups are coming on the forefronts for justice and dignity, we have various example in the past years and in the present time.
We can see few of exemplary women standing for justice, Soni Sori is one of many indigenous women, fighting for justice and dignity for herself and her community, which is guarantees in our constitution.
We all must have remembered the anti CAA protests in 2019, how women from Muslim community were taken charge to lead the protests, under the democratic frameworks of disagreement or dissent in Saheen Bagh, Delhi , and subsequently became symbols of protest in almost everywhere in our country supported by common citizens from all walks of life.
Women are on the lading line for many months on the outskirts of Delhi, where protesting farmers are sitting against the three farms laws, the Times magazine recognized the contributions of the women power and contribution into the farms protest, hundreds of women are in the leading role for managing the day to day affairs of the protest. This is one of the biggest success of the Indian democracy in progress for participation of women.
We should not have forgot, the continuing plights and unequal space for women in the world and in India. Particularly for women coming from the social minorities groups, they need participation in all spheres of life, be it in higher education, politics, policy making or media etc. There is urgent need for more inclusive policies for those women coming from the social minorities groups, yes there are necessity for larger solidarity with all colors and shades of women movements but at the same time required for recognition of vulnerable groups.
Let us celebrate our moment with the International women’s day, with a commitment to our self to reject patriarchy in the first place and make gender justice for all. And, we need more man to advocate for gender justice