There’s a whole lot of buzz around the rape case, which came into the limelight in India. This is not a new phenomenon, highly prevalent in such parts of the world, and therefore standing as an issue that needs to be discussed globally. It eventually shatters away and remains as a history. I personally think one has to delve into the roots of these issues and find some solution even though it takes time and hard work.
Firstly, why do women enjoy political, economic and social freedom in some countries and not in others?
When this was asked to a master’s student of Denmark, she mentioned that “I find it interesting when you bring up this topic. But for us, it is the way it is.” The answer was almost similar to what a Kurdish girl from Denmark said, which is “freedom is unappreciated here!”
But, I don’t think they just got it right away.
On further profundity, when I looked into certain developed countries, such as the Scandinavian countries, the women of those nations worked towards their welfare and rights(political, economic, social) in the society through the various waves of feminism right from early 20th century.
I always wonder why certain developing nations in Asia, South America, Africa are “still developing” and still fighting for “women’s freedom.” On the other hand, despite the fact that most of the European nations, during the world wars, were broken down to nothing, but are now raised as some of the most developed nations in the world. To my surprise, I heard of the Marshall Plan, where the USA lent a helping hand to Europe post World War 2 for its redevelopment from a master’s student, from Mozambique.
Additionally, she analyzed these developmental stages though the Venn diagram of sustainability. I perceive that until a nation gets stabilized in their economic situation and thereby political, it cannot focus or strive for progress in social and environmental situations. This was strongly taken as a reference for all-round development of a nation by her. She also stated that “ the statistics that we have right now are not reliable because the statistics of rape does not show the actual picture.” In South Africa, maybe because of patriarchal society and having a long colonial rule, men are considered high to women- in a way they treat women as “sex machines”. She personally felt that this kind of looking down on women is mainly due to culture and history.
Why this kind of cultural biases exist across eastern and western societies?
A master’s student from Kurdistan, but a Denmark citizen, articulated this difference. For instance, women are used to undeniable catcalls because of certain revealing dresses, which they are not supposed to wear back in my native place. But there aren’t any such restrictions here in Denmark. Stereotypes such as’ women alone have to cook food, wash utensils, do the laundry, not allowed to pursue education’ etc are prevalent .
How much ever the circumstances are changing, there is so much to change!
I understand that it is the upbringing environment, parental values, and societal influence and historical roots that are instilled in a person be it, women or men, that is what matters for a peaceful and sustainable society, be it, east or west.
In extension to my view, a family member of mine said his philosophical view, “how much ever one strives to achieve these goals socially, economically, legally, politically – unless there’s a strong philosophical/cultural basis on which ‘equality’ is a natural outcome than a forced one, all such attempts would just be superficial in nature and in some cases do more harm than good.” He, as an ardent “Advaitist”(follower of Advaita- Indian philosophy), believes and stated that “everything in existence is one, reflected in multiple forms and names.” Dwelling and working towards this concept would lead to a harmonious society as to how ancient India was.
This idea seems impossible right now, but why was it possible a few centuries back?
Forget about centuries, why was it even the case a few decades back?
For example, when one looks into the personal life of the Indian Mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, his love for Mathematics made him leave his family and travel to Cambridge. I personally believe that he was a living example for one of the famous psychological concepts called “delayed gratification”(Marshmallow experiment). His passion for the subject, his ardent religious beliefs(strong identity) and the family support made him reach a place where the whole world, to date, respects him for what he was.
On the other hand, on analyzing through the behaviour of those culprits of the recent Hyderabad’s rape case with a friend cum “un-trained psychologist”, the possible reasons identified are due to the lack of 1) nurturing 2) family background(support) 3) education and 4) “identity crisis”.
The irony here is both situations happened in the same country!
I, being an Indian and a person who had an opportunity to enjoy the “women’s freedom” in a Scandinavian country, believe that there must be a blend in thinking according to contemporary modern situations and can still exist with strong cultural roots of India. Because the philosophy and heritage of India show scientifically that this kind of system is possible for what I am looking for through its scriptures.
The above information is all based on a survey on my personal interest from various countries( India, Denmark, UK, Mozambique, Venezuela, Kurdistan). I personally got some awareness, learning theories, and understood the situations at a global front. The whole point is about getting a broader perspective on crimes against women across the world, gender sensitization, feminism, stereotypes, and world peace.