India-China Should Work Together For Women Empowerment
| ANITA TRIPATHI - Thought Leader, Bangalore - 08 Mar 2019

Women's Day Special:

India-China Should Work Together For Women Empowerment

Bride-Selling & Prostitution Might Escalate in India & China

  • India and China constitute almost the world's 36 per cent of the population. Women of both countries contribute about 16-17 per cent of the world's population.
  • If India and China create a Synergy to deal with women empowerment, both can set another model for this world, as they did in transforming the world's economy.
  • Women are neither safe on roads nor in the womb, especially in the context of most Asian countries.
  • Gender discrimination has paved the way for multifaceted and complex nature of problems for women in the developing world.
  • China has a shortage of women at 62 million. India is also witnessing the same consequences of the demographic disaster in several states including Haryana and Rajasthan. Thus, the crime against women like bride-selling and prostitution might escalate.

 

By Anita Tripathi

Bangalore, March 08, 2019: "A woman is free in her wildness. She is a wanderer, a drop of free water. She knows nothing about borders....her life flows cleanly with passion, compassion, tolerance, purity, and vitality like water"

These are great lines dedicated to depicting the immense vitality that lies within a woman, by comparing her with a drop of water, the vital source of life. The woman in totality is a creator who creates creatures, who nurtures creatures and acts like spores for this lively universe. But Oh! Is this true in every family, society and country too? I wish it could have been a realized truth for everyone.

In my opinion, it’s very ridiculous and unfortunate to give such a small space to celebrate her existence, merely a day in a calendar of 365 days as International Women's Day. From where does the need arise, to celebrate this day? Absolutely from cultural inheritance of patriarchal society since centuries, this has put the women in Red Data Book as endangered species.

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Women are neither safe on roads nor in the womb, especially in the context of most Asian countries. Gender discrimination has paved the way for multifaceted and complex nature of problems for women in the developing world. Consequently, this discrimination has offered a long list of structural imbalances in this contemporary world.

 

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As a matter of fact, the economies of India and China have transformed the global economy with their demographic strength over the rest of the world. Identically, Hindi Chini Bhai- Bhai, both have the potential to write the best script for women of across the world.

It's imperative to consider that India and China constitute almost the world's 36 per cent of the population. Women of both countries contribute about 16-17 per cent of the world's population. If India and China create a Synergy to deal with women empowerment, both can set another model for this world, as they did in transforming the world's economy.

Despite various discrepancies in the cultural landscape and government structure, ultimately the duo has to deal with the vital force of their country, the women. I believe that land laws could be different from country to country, but human needs are the same to sustain in this world.

Women too are not different. It is required that they are treated with equality and dignity. Wouldn't it be suppressing about half of the inhabitants of a land, not be suppressing half of the strength of the country? Definitely, the answer should resound 'yes'.

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India and China both are at crossroads of two value systems, traditional and modern. The traditional systems of both countries have been patronage of patriarchal society since centuries to these days, which have marginalized women presence and acceptance equally.

Evidently, India and China are sailing in the same boat of gender ratio imbalance. Both countries have lower female population ratio. China has 94.1 females/100 males whereas India's figure is even more horrible with 92.9 females/100 males.

China was ranked 69th on the World Economic Forum 2012 on gender gap index and India on 105th position respectively. On a Very important indicator of women health care status, the maternal mortality rate, China has performed better than India.

Maternal mortality rate accounts for 27deaths/ 100,000 in China, while India stringed for 174 deaths/100,000. 

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On account of the outburst of sex ratio imbalances, the 'Scientific American' published in its reports that China has a shortage of women at 62 million.

India is also witnessing the same consequences of the demographic disaster in several states including Haryana and Rajasthan.

Now it's explicitly visible how gender discrimination is changing the socio-economic interfaces. Thus, the crime against women like bride-selling and prostitution (which is illegal in China as well as in India) might escalate.

Let's shift gears to education. Female literacy in China is 94.5 per cent while India has 60.6 per cent of literacy rate. School life expectancy of a girl child in China is 14 years albeit India's 12 years.

Again China is ahead of India by 4 percent in enrollment of female candidates for higher education. All databases from literacy to higher education reveal that despite huge population, how China has handled the women education in a better way when it is compared to India. Gallup poll (2009-12 yr) recorded women employment in China  75 percent, almost 3 times higher than India. 

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India must carry the lesson of women empowerment through education, which has augmented and translated the education into higher rate of women employment, a very important key to women liberation.

 Women safety is a concern which ensures her freedom to live independently be it at home, outside or workplace.

Historically, Confucians (old society of China) had male-dominated society from practices of female foot-binding to male child preference for the inheritance of land and property. According to a survey in 2004, in China, 30 per cent women have faced domestic violence.

Several reforms have been made through law enforcement to give equal place to women in the eyes of law but the mindsets of males to overpower women for sexual act could not help to ensure her safety.

In 2007, (although the database is old) China recorded roughly 32,000 cases of only SEXUAL crimes against women in one year. India had recorded 1,85,312 total cases of crimes against women inclusive of all kinds.

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It's a reflection through the fact that in China the famous #Me Too# campaign didn't get momentum. 'China Daily' rejected all possibilities of sexual harassment by stating that Chinese culture doesn't leave any scope of sexual harassment. It is nothing but hypocrisy for cultural superiority, especially when data entails different stories.

 India's story is entirely different from other parts of the world, the crime against women has endless counts. If we summarise it in a single line based on a global poll conducted by Thomson Reuters, India is the fourth most dangerous country in the world for women and worst country for women among G20 countries.

What conclusions can we draw from the facts above?  Both countries exhibit inadequate awareness in policy and planning processes to change the paradigm into women-led -development.

Politics is a domain which could be a right platform to raise voices through participation in policy formulation and execution. Chinese parliament has 24.2 per cent of women representatives in total. At the same time under-representation of women is clearly visible, no woman has ever been seen in the role of top leadership.

 In the case of India, I would make a strong assertion regarding women presentation in politics. It’s indeed a country which has the largest and most vibrant democracy across the world.

The women presentation in the realm of politics lies in its DNA, right since India got freedom from British rule. Originally the Indian culture has always had admiration for the role of women in shaping the family and social structure, that has manifested through practices of worship of different goddess for the different arena of lives.

This implies wider acceptability of women leadership in spiritual and personal life, both by society as well as the country. 

India has made history in world politics by electing and showing trust in women leadership for topmost positions of Prime Minister, President, leader opposition of upper house, speaker of parliament and noticeably Defence Minister as well.

The entire world is looking up to 'The Dragon' and 'The elephant' for concrete corrective measures in policy making, which could be a tool for women empowerment and women liberation in two most populous countries of the world. To achieve better global target of Women empowerment, greater levels of understanding is required to capture the full economic, physical and emotional costs to women.

SWOT analysis:

The noticeable strengths of both the nation states are placed in distinct domains. On comparing the condition of women in both the countries: It has been diagnosed that China provides superior attention to women health and education and, on the other hand, the representation of Indian women in politics makes democracy accountable, as contrasted to the case of China. It would be rightly stated if India is ticked off for poor facilities of health and education to women, and China is criticised for lack of representation of women in the political world therefore not abiding by the morals of democracy.

Therefore, the two countries, closely linked in several ways must glorify each other's strength and take into learning the lesson learnt, instead of waiting any global glorification. This can be done by establishing a cross border cooperation for trade, knowledge, values which shall consequently generate a shared and shining system of equality for all.

The universal manhood is an admirer of the external beauty of women, yet to the disappointment of many, the former fails to value the existence and recognise the virtues of womanhood. The only comparison that might fit in the ironic situation is that of possessing admiration for merely the fruits and flowers of a tree.

This can be elaborated and compared as The fruits of a tree do not arise from the air, rather right from its existence. The fruits stand only for the external beauty of a woman, but are men oblivious to the fact that it is the reflection of the infinity that lies within a woman? What about her branches through which the fruits arise, that give her the comforting figure of support through virtues of love, compassion, tolerance and sincerity.

What about the trunk that grows through setbacks and give her the strength to stand unaffected by any adversity, and what to say about the recognition of her roots that weave social fabrics right from her birth, that one day will depict and shall decide the face of a society, and eventually, the future of a nation?

Therefore it is high time for men to wake up from their slumber, and acknowledge the complete existence of womanhood.

If not, it is for everyone to contemplate and ponder upon the fact: is this ignorance not costing manhood heavily, pushing them into the debt of poor mentality and working a compromise on the quality of life within the nation?

Image Credit – Writer’s Facebook Wall / Womens Web / The Telegraph

 (Writer Anita Tripathi is former Mrs India Beautiful Smile at Beauty Pageant; Former Country Coordinator, Excel Book Publications, Tanzania; Former Research Associate, UN - PRME at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: She has diversified experience in life sciences, biotechnology & business management through education, teaching, research, community development and strategic business expansion work; MBA in Corporate Management; M. Phil in Biotech; MSc (Botany);)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Indian Observer Post and Indian Observer Post does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


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