It’s scary to go out after dark, accompanied or unaccompanied regardless. It’s embarrassing and scary to walk into and eat at a local dhaba all alone at any time of the day just in case you had a craving for some rustic chicken curry and tandoori roti. It’s impossible to walk on Delhi streets without having at least one car stop by and ask your rate for a night. That’s the claustrophobic life of a woman in India.
But at the same time, I completely agree with what Barkha Dutt said in disagreement with the moderator at the Women in the World Summit held from 22-24 April in New York. That’s the other truth about India. The American moderator said that she has been to India quite a few times but now after watching Leslee Udwin’s documentary on the 16 December 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape, she has realised how unsafe India is for women. Barkha cut the moderator short at this point and said, ‘This is where I have a fierce disagreement with the narrative that is being built around my country. No less than Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has chronicled that statistically the incidents of sexual violence are much higher in the US than it is in India. So I do not like generalisations about my country.
I have another point to make. I have interviewed Hillary Clinton quite a few times and I have asked her ‘why is it so difficult for a woman to be the President of the US?’ You know what guys, these are not the conversations we have in India. We had a woman leading us as the prime minister about four decades ago. And I heard someone say in the morning that this (US) is the only country in the world that doesn’t have paid maternity leave. Well, we have paid maternity leave.’
No doubt the situations I stated right at the beginning of this note are real. But the other realities are more women at workplaces, more women out of their houses, more women behind the wheels, more women speaking out, more women making choices.
We, at The Petticoat Journal, have always tried to look at the gender scenario more positively and believe me, we can’t get enough
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If you, or a woman or women around you, are subject to domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other atrocities at home or anywhere else, here is what you can do.Know more