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Define Women Empowerment


Watched the movie ‘Mardaani‘ last night. The one with Rani Mukerji being the eponymously attributed cop.

I had heard of some of the movie reviewers or critiques complaining that the movie perhaps set out to show the empowerment of women and failed miserably.

The movie had its bright moments and it might have petered out to an avenging angel saga towards the end. But, in my opinion, the movie does encourage women to take a stand.

After watching the movie, it set me thinking… what is the definition of Women Empowerment? Rahul Gandhi might use it as a go-to term in interviews but do the rest of us know much about what empowers a woman?

In today’s world, at least in India, it seems that women empowerment is all about reservations and the quota system. I personally feel that it is just another way of the system to tell us that “Women… ya’ll need all the help we can give you or you aren’t getting anywhere

An empowered woman should be able to hold her own against her adversaries and among her friends with equal ease. It is not her physical prowess alone that sets her apart. Whether she is able to bash up goons and talk tough is not the yardstick to measure her strength. A woman’s strength, like that of a man, is a combination of her emotional, intellectual and physical prowess. Highlighting just one of the traits is not the sign of an empowered woman. When society realizes this, it is then that women will stop requiring to be empowered. They will be equal. For this to happen what needs to change is the collective mindset of the people… stop categorizing what men and women can do except for the obvious biological differences. All women may not excel in all fields, just as all men don’t. But calling something a man’s field because a majority of women have not been big success stories in it is wrong. All human beings are entitled to the achievements they earn within their physical, emotional and intellectual limits. Pushing those limits would earn them greater satisfaction. But no achievement by anyone should be judged by who (and which gender) he/she has left behind to get there.

The issue I had with the movie was its title “Mardaani” (meaning: Manly) As a cop, fighting a crime is not manly… it is her job and she does it well. Why term her courage, sense of duty and righteousness ‘manly’? Are those special and exclusive male traits? If so, I have been living under a stone all this time because I clearly believed that those were all desirable HUMAN traits.

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