This session tops the list of my favourite sessions at the Jaipur literature festival. The experienced female panellists talked #Metoo movement, unequal pay and lack of proper education and healthcare in women’s lives. They spoke of harassment in the workplace and how there has been a decline in female participation in the workforce since women are fighting for higher skilled jobs, which is a positive influence.
It is said that it will be a century before women have the same career prospects as men. No country in the world has managed to close its gender gap. Even as few female leaders head multinationals and economies, the reality largely remains to be a world which still excludes, overlooks and exploits half of its available talent.
India’s history has also been ridden with patriarchal norms and traditions. A prime example of this would be an old man in the audience who ignorantly asked what will happen to all the men, if women take away all the jobs in the market! To which the speaker boldly replied; “Sir, we are not taking anything we do not deserve. Don’t get scared so soon, for this is just the beginning.”
One does not need to call oneself a hard-core feminist to help fight for gender equality. Simply be aware enough to discourage suppression of women in any form whatsoever; be it in the household or the workplace. Say a strict no to those often misogynistic, sexist joke people love to circulate on social media platforms. The first step always starts with the self, society only comes next.
The millennial woman, in my opinion, is a strong force to be reckoned with.