By RONIKA KOIRALA
I and my friend were on the way to our college. We saw some lads ragging a schoolgirl. She looked so perturbed but the guys were still taunting her. They were shouting, 'I love you' at the girl. How might a girl feel when teased by the boys in such an offending manner on the road? It's really an embarrassing moment. All of a sudden, I remembered that we were celebrating Women's Day this week.
I like to recall another unpleasant incident too. A man in our neighborhood used to beat his old mother. One evening, we had just finished the dinner. We heard some bizarre sound of crying. When we rushed out, we saw that the same man was pounding his mother so harshly that none of us could tolerate to see that. Some people went to thwart him but he just started jumping on them. So, nobody could do anything. The woman lost her eyesight a week after the incident, and died a few months later. This sounds like a fantasy but it's a true occurrence.
Both of these cases are widely prevalent in our society. Apart from this, there are a lot of cases that go to prove that people under-value women in our society. They are forced to give birth to many daughters in the expectation of a boy. Girls are sent to government schools while boys attend private.
The basic reason of the women to be diffident in the society is their enslavement by men either for expenditure, sanctuary or anything else. It is a universal truth that the strong dominate the weak -- be it men dominating women or women dominating women. It is a fact that women are in general physically and socially weaker than men in one way or other. If a bad guy rags or taunts a woman anywhere she can hardly endeavor to smack her tormentor in most cases, although there may be exceptions.
The obsession at this moment is not to involve women in a brawl against the people harassing them because the same conditions might emerge in the next place yet again. So, there must be the coherent constraint that prohibits people to do that surreptitiously or publicly. The need to solve domestic violence is more crucial than women's entry to the parliament. The 33 percent reservation of seats for women passed in the parliament does not shore up a woman who faces fisticuffs of her spouse daily. In this milieu, income is the most imperative facet that has permitted the men to rule women. What I consider is, unless and until the women of every dwelling are sovereign in earning, the conflicts of women rights never end. Even our culture stands against women in numerous cases. For instance, dowry system should be abolished in the society. Giving of daughter alone does not suffice; so they are accompanied by other tangible properties. Is it so? For this the bride's family must be strong enough to rebuff for the dowry.
Such insignificant issues remain in the society, which hinder the women from being equal in the society. Such problems linger in the society and decide a woman's fate. These are not the matters that are unknown to anyone albeit there is nothing special done to eradicate domestic violence. The authorities concerned must try to make women aware of their plight. The violence exists in villages as well as urban places. The bitter truth is, we have yet to make sincere effort to grapple with the situation. (TKP, March 9, 2007)