Prominent women activists have resolved to fight together for the constitutional rights of women at a webinar organised by the Women’s Wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on November 18.
Addressing the webinar, titled ‘Safeguarding Constitutional Rights of Women: Whose Responsibility?’, women activists unanimously pointed out that women in India are yet to be given their due and joint action is required to safeguard their constitutional rights. They opined that lack of awareness among women on their rights, less female involvement in all major public spheres including decision making bodies and judiciary, corrupt politicians and officials were the reasons. “It is time to show the way out to the politicians who do not respect the Constitution for not just women’s betterment but for the betterment of the entire nation,” they added.
Delivering the inaugural address, JIH Women’s Wing Secretary Mrs. Atiya Siddiqua, said there are enough laws to protect women, yet violence is rampant in the society. Calling for a change in the mindset, she said there was a need for treating women justly for the overall progress.
Speaking on the occasion, noted social worker Aruna said, “If we have to make India great, we have to work for its people. The main reason for the mistreatment of women is that people give more importance to gaining wealth.”
Reminding people of their duty, advocate Avani Chokshi said Articles 14, 15, 42 and 51 of the Constitution enjoin upon every citizen to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. She pointed out that there is feudal mindset everywhere and there is no scope for women in the present regime.
Dr. Sucharita from Purogami Mahila Sangathan said women didn’t get equal treatment anywhere, at work or at home. “Those who commit atrocities are not punished. Women must fight for it. Every woman should be aware of the rights provided by the Constitution,” she added.
General Secretary of National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Ms Annie Raja, said, “It is a shame that after 75 years of Independence, women were auctioned online. Women are facing the worst ever problems in the country. Exploitation in jobs and disparity in wages are rampant.”
Dr Purnima Pattanshetti, an educationist, said the next generation should be educated without gender discrimination. She said, men need to be involved in women’s platforms so that they could become more empathetic towards women’s problems and change their attitude.
In her presidential address, JIH Secretary Women’s Wing, Mrs. Rahamathunnissa, stressed that the webinar is not against men but against the incompetent system. She said, “If women are not granted their rights to live, lead a life of dignity and be involved in public affairs, the adverse effect will be on everyone including men. Honest and justice-minded women should come in decision making bodies. Education is the first step for this but the government is spending more on statues than on schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. It is the responsibility of everyone but more importantly those in authority, the educated and the privileged to safeguard the rights of women.”
Programme Convener Ms. Mahnaz Ismail, Ms. Qasima Shaheen, Dr. Zebaish Firdous, Ms. Tooba Hayat and Ms. Fakhira Tabassum also addressed the webinar.