The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Women in India

One of the most fascinating aspects of India’s culture was the fact that women have limited rights compared to men. From hotel security, to airport security, to security at museums, women are always segregated into a different lines that men. I was confused by this at first and did not accept this until the end of my trip. I think of myself just as equally as any man that I have ever encountered. I can make just as much money as any man, drive the same car as any man in the states, but in India, my ideas seemed outrageous. I had to accept the fact that I am a visitor in their country and I need to abide by their rules. This included being fully dressed from head to toe with nothing but the skin on my face showing, in order to not attract unwanted attention to myself. Despite how hot and humid the weather was in March, I played it safe and left my “hipster” garb in America. While traveling the country, I did realize how Indian women are demanding change and raising their voice about the recent rape stories occurring around the country. Women in the major cities (i.e. Delhi, Mumbai) have a louder voice, and argue that justice is demanded after the recent rape case of a lower caste Indian woman riding the bus home. In any city throughout India, when a rape case occurs, trials for the men who are suspected can last up to fifteen years behind bars, until the story is forgotten and they are free to leave. There is no justice, laws, or law enforcement against these crimes, so men keep raping women and children, knowing they will get away with it. A new law was enforced in Delhi, where any buses with drapes on the windows have to be removed. The government hopes this will prevent more rape cases from occurring. The fact is that removing drapes will not stop one man from raping his next victim.
However, the women in the south have a different viewpoint regarding women’s rights. The more rural villages and towns believe in arranged marriages, and no rights for women at all. The woman’s job is to marry young, start a family, cook, and clean for the husband. The woman has no education, while the husband is the bread winner and decision maker of the family. These types of beliefs are more common among women throughout India, because this is the way things have always been. Change in society, especially regarding women right’s, is not accepted. They want to be the best wife to their husband, even if that means rape, incest, beatings, and men controlling everything about the wife. Divorce is not a popular belief in their culture, so these women have limited options. I was told that most women are committed until their death, despite how unhappy they may have been their whole life.
I was able to hear both sides of the story regarding this controversial topic. After immersing myself in their culture, I understand the conflicts both sides face. My hope is that one day the country can come to a peaceful agreement.

~Cristina  Mollis


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