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The role of women in eastern societies

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India like China, Babylon and Egypt is an ancient civilization where the structure of society has evolved over the millennium. It is very unfair as well as erroneous to compare societal structures across millennium with modern societies especially of western countries of today. All said and done the modern societies of the western countries are a by-product of the industrial revolution of the 19th century as well the exploitation of the Asian and African colonies by the western countries.

The role and position of the women in Indian society may appear backward and exploitative when compared with modern western societies especially if viewed out of context. This would be particularly so if one judges an entire society without understanding the thinking behind the structure. The western media too is very manipulative and economical with facts. It will highlight the weaknesses of our societies while covering their own. Nobody talks about the suffragette or civil rights movement or the genocides of red Indians, black African or the aboriginals by the white man. But are eager to highlight the wrong practices of our societies.

We are talking about women rights in democracy. Such a democracy is essentially a men’s club with restricted entry for women. The women who get elected are far and few between and hence are unable to energetically push for women’s rights bills. As such they could be termed as ornamental pieces. All these practices need to be changed. But the higher judiciary in western countries is not very enthused about such matters.

On the contrary quite a few judges are closet male chauvinists. In any case the judiciary in most countries is severely understaffed and the pending cases in the court are just too many. The leakage of the draft women rights bill to the media before it could be presented in the legislature in order to create a media opinion against the bill speaks volumes about the sham state of American democracy and respect for law and procedures.

The fact that the western countries are largely Christian in their religious beliefs whereas the eastern countries are Hindus, Buddhists or Islamic cannot be overlooked. There are considerable differences in the basic outlook of all these religions towards status of women in society. As such brushing the differences aside and passing judgments is absolutely incorrect. It should be noted that the present anti-abortion laws of USA are a direct outcome of the dominant status of the Christianity in the American society and the Christian values with regard women, sexual behaviour and abortion. In conclusion we can safely say that American desire to insist on standardized behaviour from all is completely childish and unreasonable

One also needs to accept the fact that USA is a deeply polarized country. The blue America is closer in thinking and values to European nations like Sweden and Denmark while the Red America is comparable to Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. These values and thinking are remarkably reflected in the abortion rights debate. The American Supreme Court unfortunately is influenced by Red values. This takes us back to 1850s in the times of slavery and civil war. The world can only hope and pray that the Americans display much more wisdom and tolerance about their own countrymen particularly women and practice secular democracy.

The countries of the west do look down and deride the social systems of backward countries like Afghanistan and Sudan and rightfully so in my opinion. But then how different America is from the Taliban in their treatment of women and minorities? I don’t think the answer will please USA and their government.

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