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Freedom???

64 years of freedom? I as a 21 year old young WOMAN - Am I free??? Freedom is not free in our democracy. Coming from a middle class, conservative family, my freedom allows- apart from my basic needs - of food, shelter, clothing, education and employment and ofcourse the right to vote.
There is no freedom from exploitation. Like me many of my sisters cannot think of marrying, taking up a job in a new city, studying further without family permission. We undergo eve-teasing without a protest. Our goldchains are snatched in broad daylight and no one helps nor objects. There is no guarantee that we will not be victims of domestic violence even in this age and era.There is exploitation at work for many - no fixed hours, overtime is not paid for, women earn less salary than men on the same job and there are cases of sexual exploitation in newspapers everyday.
What is freedom? According to the Websters' Dictionary, Freedom is the state of being free. The condition to think,act and speak freely. Under the circumstances, Women in India are not free even after they reach adulthood. They might have seen immense progress, elevation in status but this group is privileged and a minority. The picture is not rosy at all.
8o% of our mothers are still not literate.

Child Sex Ratio (0_6 years)

The child sex ratio has dropped from
945 females per 1000 males in 1991 to
927 females per 1000 males in 200112
The United Nations Children’s Fund, estimated that upto 50 million girls and women are ‘missing’ from India’s population because of termination of the female foetus or high mortality of the girl child due to lack of proper care.

Women as Workers

Female share of non-agricultural wage employment is only 17%
Participation of women in the workforce is only
13.9% in the urban sector and
29.9% in the rural sector

Women’s wage rates are, on an average only 75 % of men’s wage rates and
constitute only 25% of the family income In no Indian State do women and men earn equal wages

Women occupy only 9% of parliamentary seats
less than 4% seats in High Courts and Supreme Court
less than 3% administrators and managers are women

Women and Education

Close to 245 million Indian women lack the basic capability to read and write
Adult literacy rates for ages 15 and above for the year 2000 were
female 46.4%
male rate of 69%19
According to NCRB ‘Crime in India', the following crimes were committed against women in India.
Rape

16,373 women were raped during the year
45 women were raped every day
1 woman was raped every 32 minutes
An increase of 6.7% in the incidents of rape was seen between 1997-2002

Sexual Harassment

44,098 incidents of sexual harassment were reported.
121 women were sexually harassed every day
1 woman was sexually harassed every 12 minutes
An increase of 20.6% was seen in incidents of sexual harassment between 1997-2002

Importation of girls/Trafficking

11,332 women and girls were trafficked
31 women and girls were trafficked every day
1 woman or girl was trafficked every 46 minutes

Kidnapping and abduction

14,630 women and minor girls were kidnapped or abducted
40 women and minor girls were kidnapped every day
1 woman or minor girl was abducted every 36 minutes

Dowry Related Murders

7,895 women were murdered due to dowry
21 women were murdered every day
1 woman was murdered due to dowry every 66 minutes

Domestic Violence

49,237 women faced domestic violence in their marital homes.
135 women were tortured by their husbands and in-laws every day
1 woman faced torture in her marital relationship every 11 minutes
Domestic violence constitutes 33.3% of the total crimes against women
A steep rise of 34.5% in domestic violence cases was witnessed between 1997-2002
Suicide
12,134 women were driven to commit suicide due to dowry
1,10,424 housewives committed suicide between 1997-2001 and accounted for 52% of the total female suicide victims

Sexual Abuse

Out of 600 women respondents
76% had been sexually abused in childhood or adolescence
Of the abusers
42% were ‘uncle’ or ‘cousin’
4% were ‘father’ or ‘brother’

A society where more than half the population worship the Female Goddess, the condition of women is thus. The reality of women’s lives remains invisible at all levels beginning with the family to the nation. Although geographically men and women share the same space, they live in. The mere fact that “Women hold up half the sky”- does not appear to give them a position of dignity and equality. Women - yes Indian women are yet to be free!

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Sunita Yadav

Corporate/Business/Professional

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

I am simple living girl And hardworking ,enphupaistic towords work.My hobbies include shoping,chating,listan to music.

I am working in Blogger's Park magazine as a coordinator.

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