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It Is Shame That After 75 Years of Independence, Muslim Women Were Auctioned Online: Activists

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

NEW DELHI—Prominent women activists today resolved to fight for gender equality, constitutional rights, equal wages, and a crime-free society in the country.

A webinar was organized by the Department of Women, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), on the topic `Safeguarding Constitutional Rights of Women: Whose responsibility?’ which saw a galaxy of women from different fields participating.

Women were unanimous that there are enough laws and guarantees in the Constitution but the implementation is the biggest problem in the country. Women voiced concern over vilification and suppressing the saner voices in this country.

“There are enough laws in the country. There is a need for awareness. We need to ask questions about why these laws are not being implemented. There was a survey by Reuters where India was declared most dangerous country for women,” said Atiya Siddiqua, National Secretary, JIH women’s wing.

She said there are enough laws to protect women, yet violence is rampant in society. Calling for a change in the mindset, she said there is a need for treating women equally and justly for the overall progress of society and community.

“Men and women are different, but it does not mean they are inferior. Women need equal and respectful treatment,” she said.

Prominent social activist Aruna said India is not just a piece of land but a home for billions of people. “We celebrated the 75th anniversary of Independence recently. But we can’t say everything is getting better. Nothing is right. We have a responsibility. Who will defend the country? India is not just land. It consists of people. If we have to make it great, we have to fight for its people. Women are marginalized. They are yet to be given their due. We have to fight for equality. We have to fight for women’s rights. Unless we start it, we cannot progress,” she said.

Prominent advocate Avani Chokshi highlighted the disparity of women in important organs of the state. “Be it judiciary, executive or any other organ, there is a disparity in every field for women. It took 39 years for a woman to become a Supreme Court judge post-independence. There is a feudal mindset everywhere. Once former CJI Bobde told a rape accused whether he would like to marry the victim. This is a patriarchal mindset. And there is no scope for the women in the regime which favours Hindu Rashtra. Women can’t assert in that set-up,” she said.

Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW, regretted that even after 75 years Muslim women are being auctioned online. “It is shame that after 75 years, Muslim women were auctioned online. Sulli Deal was online. Who was behind this? Women are facing the worst ever problems in the country. Exploitation in jobs and disparity in wages are rampant. Nearly 96 percent of women are working in the unorganized sector. They have no rights. They do not have pay parity. Even in the government sector Anganwadi workers do not have parity,” she said.

In her vote of thanks, Rahmathunnissa, National Secretary, JIH’s women wing, said women have to stand together to fight for their rights.  “NCRB data has revealed that crimes against women are increasing in public places. Even in Covid 19 vaccination, there is a gender gap.  Only a few are getting progress. We have to raise our voices. Education and awareness are the key. Millions of women in this country do not know what their rights are. We have to stand for them,” she said.

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