by Natsumi Ichioka
After reading the article “Arnold Schwarzenegger, ally mcbeal and arranged marriages: globalization on the ground in India,” I wonder why women in India are not equal with men. In India, after independence from England, a new constitution was established in 1947. This constitution succeeded in mentioning that all Indians are equal legally. In Japan, it is said that women and men are equal, but there are some obstacles to saying that all situations are equal. I know the gender problems are so complicated and unsolvable problems. Like Japanese situation, there are also problems in India for a truly equal society. I think India has to change three things for the equal society.
First, India has to divide politics from religion. It is not a simple problem to think like this, but I think the problems which India has are all related to the religion, especially Hindu caste. Caste has caused many problems and prejudice for Indian women in the society. India is developing these days, they try to take in many developed ideas from foreign countries. I think there is a limit to coexistence between the traditional Indian culture and the developed culture, because developed cultures have a trend for the equal gender, for example, the equal employment, equal education system and so on. If India continue to change modernization, it is necessary to separate the thinking from religion.
Secondly, Indians have to solve the problem of employment for women. India is developing and women are going to work in the society. In developing society, the workforce for women is needed. Though the welfare programs are established, for example, securing time for childcare, prohibiting illegal layoffs for women and so on, these systems are not always secured. Government research states that the wages of women are lower than the wages of men. In addition, the rates of women’s layoffs are more than four times compared to men’s rates, in the same research. In this way, there is still discrimination against women laborers. These welfare systems are secured truly for the equal employment. Though they are established legally, it is nonsense that they are not adopted for all women.
Finally, the system of the marriage is too burdensome for women. From the traditional culture in India, the bride needs to give financial aid for the groom. This system is too burdensome for the bride’s family. Because of this system, girls are not welcomed. Sometime, girl babies are killed because of this prejudice. On the other hand, boys are welcomed and treated preciously. These prejudices are caused by the thinking of the religion. If these prejudices are continued, India will run into difficulties. If these prejudices are solved, the thinking of the equal between the men and the women are made. Then, Indian society is going to change for the equal society. There is no discrimination against women.
I think India need to change dramatically in these three points, the thinking of separation of politics and religion, the employment for women, and the system of the marriage. The problems which India has are so complicated. They cannot be solved easily. But for the equal society, especially for Indian women, they need to change dramatically. The women’s rights are secured in many field, India will be more powerful country in the future.
Kyoto Univ. UNICEF Club (1997, November), Retrieved December 16, 2012, from http://www.jca.apc.org/unicefclub/research/index.html