Expressing shock at the reported gang-rape of a Swiss
woman in Madhya Pradesh on March 15 after the recent death of Delhi bus
gang-rape victim, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged India to do serious
soul searching on the treatment of women.
India could not even provide safer environment for the
guests and her own women to go about their daily lives. It was blight on a
country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth
economies, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated in
Nevada (USA) today. He asked for a thorough investigation into this case
which reportedly happened in Datia district.
scriptures, Rajan Zed pointed out that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women
are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will
yield any fruit.” Number of Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of mankind)
hymns were said to be composed by women, and Aditi, who was sometimes
referred as “mother of the gods”, found mention in Rig-Veda as a goddess.
Continuing indifference to the maltreatment of women was
not acceptable in the 21st century world. India needed to focus on urgent
upliftment of women, forgetting her political battles. A strong political
will and some serious and durable systemic reforms were urgently needed in
this direction, Zed added.
Rajan Zed argued that although India was on track to
become a global power, but her new power and prosperity had remained evasive
for many, especially women. Despite economic miracle, women in India
continued to face inequalities in opportunities which blocked them from
fully participating in the growth process.
Zed stressed: India needed to empower her women; provide
them better treatment under the law, better access to
health-education-politics, and more opportunities for workplace
participation; and open up more economic potentials for them.
India needed to take urgent steps to make women as equal
partners in the society and eliminate gender inequality. Lesser gender gaps
would also bring prosperity and economic competitiveness to the country
besides fairness. Men and women were equal in the eyes of God, Rajan Zed
Zed indicated that a global poll of experts released by
Trust Law, a Thomson Reuters Foundation service, sometime back showed that
India was the worst place to be a woman among the world’s biggest economies
and ranked even lower than Saudi Arabia. “Infanticide, child marriage and
slavery make India the worst”, the poll concluded. “In India, women and
girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned
alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and
abused as domestic slave labour,” one of those polled was quoted as saying.
ajan Zed further said that the Gender Inequality Index
had also reportedly ranked India among the worst places for women. India
ranked at 141 among 165 countries analyzed by Newsweek magazine in the
treatment of women, which was published last year. Even Bangladesh,
Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Guatemala, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nepal, Libya,
Eritrea, Syria; besides many other countries; ranked higher than India.
India was ranked at 112 out of total 134 listed countries
in the Global Gender Gap Report issued by World Economic Forum in 2010, Zed
Rajan Zed stressed the need of promoting female literacy
in India. According to 2011 Census, while male literacy rate in India was
over 82%, the female literacy rate was less than 66%.