The dimming light at the tea stall near to my office. This 60-watt bulb is surely giving a tough competition to the Osram Led lights in the surrounding buildings. This bulb has its own dignity to illume light in its surrounding and this struggle actually looks very appealing to me. I mean, of course, it’s a privilege to stand in the same row with people who have done extremely well in their areas.

But hold that thought!! Am I comparing myself to this 60 watt bulb and my co-workers with the Osram LED lights? Why? Is it because I am the only female to receive the best employee award while all others were male? But why this gender segregation suddenly came to my mind while looking at the lights?

Yes, women are Buds of Moonlight. The light which has the most soothing and beautiful brightness in the night sky but this is not her own, always been backed by the Sun. According to the provisions of the Constitution of India, it is a legal point to grant equality to women in society in all spheres just like a male. They are playing multiple roles of a mother, daughter, sister, wife and a working professional with remarkable harmony and ease.

With equal opportunities to work, they are functioning with a spirit of teamwork to render all possible co-operation to their male counterparts in meeting the deadlines and targets set in their respective professions. Women’s participation in social changes, politics and decision making had been significant in India’s history too.

Who can undermine the role and contributions of Chandbibi, Rani Laxmibai, Annie Besant, Sarojini Naidu, Vijay Laxmi Pandit, Indira Gandhi, Mahashweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, etc. in bringing about all-round development? During the post- Independence era, the era of first lady Prime Minister, women got empowered and encouraged to join in all spheres of life – financial, social, and administrative even in politics. Many examples of empowered women came into light and are being remembered for their active participation.

But if we look closely towards the matter how much have we come around giving the exact rights that the male counterparts are enjoying. No doubt, women have now access to all the means of life similar to men. But are we being able to reduce the amount of crime towards women in our country? Women are still being suggested to keep mum against any violence that occurs to them or to others.

Recently in an episode of KBC, Padma Shri award winner Sudha Varghese, known as ‘Cycle wali Didi’ was being invited to play. When she shared her journey and her NGO ‘Nari Gujan’ contribution towards women empowerment in the remote villages in the UP and Bihar, she has given a shocking fact that most of the women from those villages don’t even know that there is a term called domestic violence and this is actually a crime. In their words, the whole phenomenon is something like this “Pati hai toh marega he.”

Women are provided with duty, in the name of household works. The patriarch thinking stimulates the age-old practice of men should earn and women should cook. It does not carry any economic profit nor being considered a respected duty. Yes, a buzzword, ‘homemaker’ instead of ‘housewife’ has been created in the name of giving respect to all the women. If she questions or don’t agree to follow or wants to do the opposite her thinking would be marked as ‘unconventional’ or ‘ill-fitted upbringing’.

Women have the highest ratio of sexual harassment at the workplace or in other places even at their own homes. Examples can be seen even in the public places but this also been imposed on the dress or the smile of the women and being counted as an intriguing factor for the action causes by men. Let alone the increasing cases of rape across the world, the simple accident cases inroads are being blamed upon the irresponsibility of women drivers. It is the gender bias that still exists at every social stratum, even in the most educated and developed society, is unable to digest this visible contribution of women in all walks of life.

In some regions, patriarchal societies diminish the role of women in important matters. I have come around a beautiful video on the internet about an organization which had put forward a valid point about all the fairy tales that girls are being told actually reduce their confidence at the tender level. On the contrary, boys are being always given a lesson on the strength and ability a man can have in a society and unknowingly their psychology is framed that ignore the importance of the girls or women held in the cycle of life.

But don’t forget moonlight has the ability to shine in any condition and can even diminish the light of the brightest star in the sky. Ireland voters repealed a constitutional amendment that banned abortion in nearly all cases, a victory to that long awaited justice of nearly 10 or 20 years. Women finally received the right over their bodies legally in that country and can be marked as a great learning for the future generation that women have the same rights like men over their self and no one from family, society or government can decide what should be done.

With better provision for education to both men and women to improve the mindset and to recover the thoughts from the claws of the social stratification can take this movement to a new height. Let’s put it this way that especially if you are a girl you must study. Both genders need to understand the society which tells women to fit in, to keep their dreams and success to themselves and to have mercy against all evil doings to them have no basis morally or spiritually. Speaking your mind is the most gratifying thing, being yourself and to fly your dreams high have an amazing sensation in your mind and body.

Being a feminist is not irritating, if the ideology can improve the lives of those thousand women who are still struggling to have that respect in society then why not be a feminist? Let’s recognize the ‘shakti’ or power that we worship during this festive season in every woman we come through and give them that significance that they deserve.

Let’s spread the moonlight to all corners where the moon’s own darkness cannot be seen.

 

“The moon is a loyal companion.

It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”

Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me.