GITISMITA DAS - Department Of WOMEN STUDIES
The word ‘Freedom’ is a broad concept. Freedom can be analysed Freedom of girls in India when living with their parents on what they are allowed to do and what not various heads one of which is Women. In india freedom for women is varied with respect to time and space. Freedom for women in India can be elaborated in the sense of liberty to walk, to work equally with men and earn equal wages etc. In the early Indian culture women were never friendly to the concept of ‘Freedom’; they were not allowed to step out of their homes freely and were bound by number of rituals. But the present scenario is much more different as compared to those of the ancient ones. Today, women are working at respectable positions and even are earning equal wages as men. But yet they are restricted in various aspects by their families. This is all because of the unwanted situations going around in the society targeting girls and women.
A] Freedom of Girls with Parental Guardianship:
Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage. However, under parental guardianship, even today girls are alive under certain restrictions. These restrictions increases the gender-gap and this is the consequence of none other than the conservative and patriarchal society.
A.1] Restrictions imposed upon daughters:
India is at war with its girls and women. According to the National Crimes Sector Records Bureau, in 2016 the molestation of minor girls increased by 82% compared with the previous year. Surprisingly, across all the cases of molestation, 95% of molesters were not strangers but family, friends and neighbours.
India’s women are traumatized in less obvious ways than by tnks in the streets, bombs and warlords. Our oppression starts innocuously: it occurs in private life, within families, with girls being locked up in their own homes. These everyday violence is the product of a culture that bestows all power on men, and that does not even want women to exist. This is evident in the unbalanced sex ratios at birth, even in the wealthy families. But India also kills its women slowly. This violence is buried in the training of women in some deadly habits that invite human rights violations, but that are considered the essence of good womanhood.
Denial of sexuality in homes is a habit that is deadly to girls. Most of the woman in India had experienced some form of sexual molestation. Speech is another basic human right. i.e., to have a voice, to speak up etc. But girls are trained to be silence. They are asked to speak softly, to have no opinions or arguments, or even they are restricted from being involved in any conflict.
To be highlighted, India is a patriarchal society and moreover it is a conservative society. As discussed above, due to the cases related to molestations, the society is seemed to be blaming a girl for every torture played on her. This makes parents more conservative. They become more protective towards their girl child, they restrict their daughters’ liberty, they deny to permit their daughters for outings etc. Moreover, girls are even restricted by their parents in the field of job. Due to the patriarchal nature of our society, they restrict their daughters working in every field and they also restrict them working out for late night.
Other then these, parents also restrict their daughters in the field of
rituals. Girls are restricted during the time of their menstruation in the
name of rituals. They are not allowed to sit together with their family
members and even they are asked to stay aside, pretending them to be
untouchables. Even they are expected to be quiet in every situation and
no argument is to be considered in such rituals. Again, in the name of
ritual, they are restricted from visiting many holy places and performing
certain religious tasks as after puberty girls are accepted to be impure
according to our conservative society.
Moreover, daughters are always trained to be polite and
responsible towards their households because they are expected to have
the hold on their household after they are being married, no matter how
highly they are educated or how highly they are employed. But other
then these restrictions, it’s not that parents do not provide any sort of
liberty to their girl child. It’s not out of any notice that girls are given
liberty by their parents upto a certain extend. Apart from these restricted
behavior let us have a look on the liberty provided by the parents to their
B] Liberty provided to daughter:
With the passage of time, various changes have been observed in
the conservative nature of our patriarchal society. Slowly steadily,
parents are starting to give preference to the choices of their daughters as
compared to earlier days. If we see in terms of art forms, in the earlier
times, girls were generally not allowed to perform all forms of art. They
were not accepted positively by families as according to them girls were
only brought up to look after the kitchen and household. But presently,
girls are really doing well in almost every art field. Starting from the
field of dance, music, crafting etc, in every field girls are doing excellent
job. Due to parents support today Indian daughters are shinning brightly in every level through various art forms. In our own state, i.e., Assam
itself we can see various examples of such daughters performing at the
national level stages with support of their parents.
Again, we can see liberty in the field of sports also. Nowadays
girls are even doing good in the field of sports. Parents are slowly
becoming aware towards physical fitness and self-defence requirements
of their daughters and therefore are encouraging their daughters for
various sports, including self- defence training. Girls are seen to be
shinning in the field of swimming, badminton, tennis, boxing, athletics
and also they are sem to be competing in opposition to boys. This proves
that girls are now considered to be equal to boys.
Another success seen is the liberty of choice. Today, most of the
parents are seen to be giving the right to choose between marriage or
career to their daughters. Like early times, though there are still certain
restrictions on marriage, but still most of the parents give their first
preference to their daughter’s career towards which is she’s passionate.
Moreover, in present time girls are also given the liberty to choose their
own partners. They can choose their partners with whom they want to
spend their life. This proves that though restrictions are imposed but
girls are getting chance to put forward their choices.
Moving forward, now girls are also getting the right to property.
Daughters can claim their fathers property after his death. The Supreme
Court has notified that daughters have equal rights in their paternal
property as compared to sons. The judiciary continues to talke
progressive steps towards making succession law more women friendly.
In its 11 August 2020 landmark decision in Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh
Sharma, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court held that daughters
and sons have equal coparecenary rights in a Hindu undivided family.
Khasis follow a matrilineal system of inheritance. In the Khasi society, it is only the youngest daughter or “Ka Khadduh” who is eligible to inherit the ancestral property.
If ‘Ka Khadduh’ dies without any daughter surviving her, her next elder sister inherits the ancestral property, and after her, the youngest daughter of that sister. Failing all daughters and their female issues, the property goes back to the mother’s sister, mother’s sister’s daughter and so on.
The Ka Khadduh’s property is actually the ancestral property and so if she wants to dispose it off, she must obtain consent and approval of the uncles and brothers.
Among the War-Khasis, however property passes to the children, male or female, in equal shares but among the War-Jaintias, only the female children get the inheritance.
Hence, we can say that besides all the restrictions girls are even given equal rights as boys on almost every aspect. Moreover, parents are also getting concerned towards the concept of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”. They are growing their high concerns about their daughter’s higher education. Most of the parents nowadays plan for their daughter’s higher studies and also they give high importance to their daughter’s palns regarding her higher studies. This shows that with the passage of time, the restrictions over girl child are reducing.
From the above discussion we can conclude that, women can be powerful actors for peace, security, and prosperity. When they participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they can play an important role in initiating and inspiring progression human rights, justice, national reconciliation and economic revitalization. They can also build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speak up for marginalized and minority groups. Investing in women's leadership is therefore smart security as well as smart development.