What’s holding women back?

Recently, I have been accused of being jealous of the “success of another woman”. Jealousy is something almost all women and men would have experienced and been accused of, so it’s really not that big of a deal. However, I believe that the rationale behind these specific accusations reflects a very harmful trend that currently prevails, both among men and women in India. Artificial, imagined and imposed standards of success, which form the main basis for these accusations, are also the prime reason that today holds many women back from enjoying the simple, natural pleasures of being a woman, a mother and a human being.

 

Just to give a background, I have a pretty good academic resume, with educational accomplishments in India and broad. I have many natural talents and skills that have come of use to me at different points in time. I have a lot of resilience, which helped me during the toughest times in life. I have received more public and media attention than most people I personally know, and more than I had ever needed or asked for. I also hold the distinction of navigating and freeing myself from the clutches of the criminal justice system in India in record time, without compromising on any ethics. I am also known for my contributions to bigger causes which attempt to make the society a better place for us and the next generation.

 

What makes me most proud though, is the fact that despite all the feminist propaganda I was exposed to when I was younger, and despite all my unfounded doubts and fears, my intelligence served me well (and luck favored me equally) to ensure that I didn’t miss the bus. What gives me the greatest joy and satisfaction is being the wife of a fantastic man and the mother of a sweet child. Yes, “wife” and “mother” and the two titles that make me most proud and happy.

 

Compare this to a  woman who barely has any academic accomplishments to speak of, who settled criminal charges against her for money, whose sense of self-worth is determined by the number of likes on her (selfie) profile picture on social media (which must change at least every fortnight if not more often), who chases pleasure and fame by selling other people’s tears in name of social service, and most importantly who is past 30, single and childless.

 

I know that a lot of people don’t want women to be judged anymore by their marital status and whether or not they have children. However, a lot of men and women now seem to be doing the exact opposite. They are inadvertently caught up with money and fame as universal measures of success, and worthy of envy. They seem to not only chase money and fame (often at the expense of everything and everyone else in life) in order to be considered successful, but they also expect everyone around to care about their imagined “success” just as much as they do. They ignore and deny women who derive the most joy and satisfaction from family.

 

I cannot speak for men, but I am quite certain that this attitude has been holding many women back from living fuller lives. It holds them back from putting family first, from fully experiencing motherhood, and from loving and giving unconditionally. It holds them back from being empathetic to other human beings. It holds them back from upholding important human values and responsibilities. These false measures of success are eroding the self-esteem and dignity of women, and pushing them into living suboptimal lives.

 

I will not pretend that I am immune to jealousy, but there is nothing to be jealous of what I personally consider a suboptimal life. If you show me a woman who had married sooner, has a bunch of children, is spending more time with them, and playing with them more than I am with mine, yes, I will be jealous, and nothing will hold me back from admitting it.

 

 

On “The Red Pill” and the feminist filmmaker who took it

On “The Red Pill” and the feminist filmmaker who took it

– Uma Challa

 

I had heard of “The Red Pill” even while it was being made, and have been aware of all the difficulties Cassie Jaye had to undergo to complete her project. I had been very curious about the film because the filmmaker was a feminist, and she was covering some of the veteran MRAs whom I consider my distant mentors.

 

On Sunday, I got an invite from a fellow MRA to watch “The Red Pill” at his place, and it was hard to resist because I had just published a piece on an Indian documentary, which some people have (wrongly) been calling the counterpart of “The Red Pill”.

 

I watched every frame and every shot, followed every word very carefully, sometimes asking for the film to be rewound a little, when I felt I had missed something. To me, if there was one thing that stood out in the film, it is the honesty of the endeavor, and just for that, I would say the film’s worth a watch.

 

Cassie Jaye traced her long and winding journey, or rather the journey of what MRAs call the red pill, through her system, and one would have to say that she successfully digested it and absorbed it, because at the end of the film, she says that she doesn’t call herself a feminist anymore.

 

While I have heard, read and watched MRAs like Paul Elam, Warren Farrel and Erin Pizzey for over a decade now, watching them speak in this film, and watching some of their memoirs brought back many of my own memories from my early MRA days. The circular arguments by many feminists provided an excellent contrast to the articulate presentation of facts by these veteran MRAs. In my opinion, “The Red Pill” should be on the essential “watching list” for every new MRA.

 

The range of men’s issues exposed in the film is impressive, and Cassie Jaye’s dedication to clearly understand every issue is commendable. Her in-depth research, her flowcharts, her video diaries, her candid questions and honest admissions are endearing to me as an MRA, and are bound to provoke thought among non-MRAs who watch the film.

 

I wish that Cassie Jaye’s film is watched by more and more people across the globe. It will not only be the appropriate reward for her work as a filmmaker, but also a great way to spread the information and messages that MRAs have been trying to communicate, to provoke thought and inspire action to end misandry around the world.

 

My congratulations to Cassie Jaye for a film so well-made!

The Red Pill poster

Housewives, prostitutes and beggars

I recently participated in a TV discussion on why prostitution is on the rise in the country. I shared the panel with a closet feminist and a radical feminist, both of whom were of the opinion that prostitution was better than marriage since the house is unsafe for a woman, and she would at least get paid for her services if she were a prostitute.

I returned home thinking about their wise utterances and went to bed discussing the same with my husband.

I said, “For decades, feminists have claimed that one out of three women is unsafe in her own house. They have told us horrendous tales about how it was daily grind for men in the country to abuse, assault, set afire and murder their wives. They lobbied for laws which would facilitate a woman breaking her shackles and barging out of the “tyrannical household” or throwing her alleged oppressors out, whichever is convenient. They ensured that every woman who had a problem “clearly understood” that all her problems were because of men, marriage and the household.”

“By the same token,” I continued, “feminists have also been shouting off of rooftops that streets are terribly unsafe for women. They claim that everyday nine out of ten women are subject to manhandling, rape, sexual assault, acid attacks and what not. While they believe that, ideally, a woman should able to walk safely on the street at midnight, they are constantly scaring themselves and the rest of us in the society about how women are unsafe on the street even during the day.”

“What then, is the solution for women? Where do they go? What can they do?” I wondered loudly.

All of a sudden my husband had an epiphany and said, “A WHOREHOUSE!”

“YES,” I agreed, “This is brilliant! It is neither the house nor the street. It is something in between – the utopia that my feminist friends on TV spoke so highly of. They have to be right. That’s where they think our women would be safest, well paid and properly fed, and that’s why prostitution, with the more fashionable label of ‘commercial sex’, is on the rise.”

I then thought of how far we have come thanks to the feminist movement from pre-independence days.

We had a time when prostitution was a recognized profession and we had the Devadasi system. The system was severely condemned by communists as the handmaid of patriarchy. Their unrelenting crusade against the oldest profession resulted in a legislation for the “prevention of immoral trafficking” in 1956.

While this “prohibitive” legislation decriminalized prostitution, a few decades later, the Government went a step ahead and tacitly legalized commercial sex and sex tourism, recognizing how it can financially empower women and thereby boost the economy.

Today, we are at a point where we are talking about prostitute rights. While we have women’s rights champions like Brinda Karat who proclaim that “Society should have no right to control what women wear or do”, we have others who say, “If you respect a woman’s right to say “no” to sex, you should also respect her right to say “yes” to sex.”

Simultaneously, all heterosexual relationships have been prostitutionalized so that a woman can claim compensation for all sexual or non-sexual, real or imaginary interactions at any time during or after the relationship.

A woman who chooses her hearth and home is not left behind either. She is tagged with the honorary title of “prostitute” as feminists believe that she is unaware that she is only trading sex for social and financial security, and they will not take “no” for an answer.

We surely have come a long way, baby!

While I was still marvelling at this astounding progress, I saw a news item which said that the recent Government Census clubbed housewives, prostitutes and beggars into a group. What a timely gesture by the Government!

While housewives have already been clubbed with prostitutes, would it not be unfair to ignore the scores of women who have taken to a glorified form of begging by standing before the Courts of Law for maintenance and alimony from their estranged husbands?

Feminists have not only taught women to shun all the age-old encumbrances imposed by marriage and family but also to shed all inhibitions associated with parasitic living. Accordingly, there is no trace of shame in these modern liberated women, but it is with a sense of pride and entitlement that they artfully exact money, thus claiming their rightful inclusion by the Government in the club.

The feminists have reduced housewives into prostitutes and beggars long ago. The Government has just made it official by grouping them in the Census.

Why, then, is the Supreme Court cross about it? Beats me!

Copyright ©Uma Challa, 2010

The birth of TEN-India marks the end of gender war

True Equity Network (TEN) India, the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) was inaugurated on 1 Feb 2010 in Hyderabad, India.

On behalf of AIFWA, I welcomed the guests and reiterated the reasons for starting TEN-India, the principles on which TEN-India is based, and our “TEN Commandments” for promoting harmony between men and women.

I introduced Swetha and Jagadish, our two young volunteers who recently graduated from college, and have worked with me with amazing enthusiasm and energy to lay the foundation for TEN-India.

I then invited Swetha, on behalf of ALL the women in the world to present a peace offering, a “dove carrying an olive branch and the TEN logo”, to Jagadish, who received it on behalf of ALL the men in the world. This was our symbolic gesture to mark the END of the gender war started by the feminists many decades ago.

(See picture at https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/home/photos-launch-of-ten-india/IMG_0591.JPG?attredirects=0)

Swetha and Jagadish also inaugurated the TEN flyers. These flyers will be distributed across all colleges in Hyderabad until 8 March 2010, the International Women’s Day. Beginning Women’s Day we will spread our campaign to all parts of the country.

(See picture at https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/home/photos-launch-of-ten-india/IMG_0593.JPG?attredirects=0)

Swetha gave a wonderful inaugural speech which I am reproducing below:

When you ask anyone, especially women, as to what women’s empowerment means, the first thing that comes to their minds is financial independence and freedom.

In my recent conversation with a close friend, I happened to mention that I did not want to pursue a career and that I wanted to be a homemaker. She was quick to ask me as to why I wanted to continue studying instead of just getting married? She quipped that I did not belong to 21st century because I was planning to become another “vanTinTi kundElu”.

Really? Why are women today made to feel that slaving overtime for a corporate establishment is empowerment, but caring for one’s family and looking after our dear ones is slavery? I do understand that in certain families, both men and women have to work to make ends meet. But what of women like me, who have the luxury of making the choice to stay home?

Are all working women empowered and happy? Are all women who chose to stay home powerless and unhappy? Isn’t true empowerment all about the freedom to make one’s own choice?

Women from all walks of life are empowered when they are able to make their own choices in their life. But unfortunately, today our thoughts are more influenced by others and what they think about our choice?

The other sad reality of today is that women are feeling pressured to do ALL the things that men do for a living and a career in order to feel empowered.

Why is that? Are women in any way inferior to men?

Why do we always want to compare ourselves to men when we know that we are different from men, with different strengths and capabilities? Why are women feeling pressured to enter ALL fields which are supposedly “dominated” by men and then asking for preferential treatment and concessions?

Late Smt. Sarojini Naidu once said, “The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority”.

I think it is only fair that women are given opportunities to enter all fields. We do need the opportunity to prove our worth, but does that mean we need to be pampered? Today, when women are given so many opportunities why do we want preferential treatment or lowered standards of performance compared to men?

Isn’t empowerment all about self-actualization and the full realization of one’s potential?

TEN-India is a great initiative whose main objective is to free the minds of women from wrong notions of freedom, independence and empowerment.

The event received good media coverage, with a few local TV channels airing news clippings and 5 regional language newspapers carrying excellent news articles.

The following is the URL for the website of TEN-India, which contains our contact information and also contains a link to join our yahoogroup.

https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/

Please encourage youth to join TEN-India, a movement for true empowerment and gender harmony.

Regards

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA)

TEN-India, the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) was inaugurated on 1 Feb 2010 in Hyderabad, India.

On behalf of AIFWA, I welcomed the guests and reiterated the reasons for starting TEN-India, the principles on which TEN-India is based, and our “TEN Commandments” for promoting harmony between men and women.

I introduced Swetha and Jagadish, our two young volunteers who recently graduated from college, and have worked with me with amazing enthusiasm and energy to lay the foundation for TEN-India.

I then invited Swetha, on behalf of ALL the women in the world to present a peace offering, a “dove carrying an olive branch and the TEN logo”, to Jagadish, who received it on behalf of ALL the men in the world. This was our symbolic gesture to mark the END of gender war started by feminists many decades ago.

https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/_/rsrc/1265025461247/home/photos-launch-of-ten-india/IMG_0591.JPG?height=300&width=400

Press Release – True Equity Network (TEN) – India

Sub: Launching True Equity Network (TEN) – India, the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA).

AIFWA is a not-for-profit organization campaigning against the misuse of protections and privileges granted to women.

AIFWA stands for true gender equality, and demands that civil and criminal laws be made equally applicable to men and women.

AIFWA is pleased to announce, to the media and the public, the launch of its youth wing, the True Equity Network (TEN) – India on Monday, 01.02.2010.

Why TEN – India?

Proponents of the women’s cause routinely attribute traits of low esteem, self pity, vagrancy, vulnerability and helplessness to women and girls.

Champions of the women’s cause have pushed, arm-twisted and bullied the Government into passing many anti-male, anti-family provisions and policies in the name of women’s rights and empowerment.

Women’s rights activists have convinced the society that in order to compensate for all the real or perceived disadvantages and sufferings endured by women in the past, present day women should be accorded special treatment in all areas of life, even if it is at the expense of the human rights and welfare of their male counterparts.

Thoughtless emphasis on pampering women has not only been hurting men and children, but it is also doing much harm to women themselves, and preventing them from appreciating all the joys of womanhood, motherhood, family life, and harmonious coexistence with men.

AIFWA endeavours to:

  • enable young women to discover the beauty of womanhood and the true meaning of empowerment.
  • inculcate self-esteem among young women and encourage them to appreciate true gender equality.
  • help young women understand “Equal Means Equal”.
  • urge young women to reject preferential treatment over men in all areas of life.
  • encourage young women to make use of their strengths and excel in their chosen fields of study or vocation.
  • promote among young women, a healthy attitude towards themselves as well as towards men.
  • promote balanced, self-respecting, hard working women as positive female role models.

TEN-India is based on the following principles:

  • Equal does not mean same; Men and women are different but are equally entitled to constitutional rights and human rights.
  • Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome; Men and women must maintain their self-esteem and earn respect and reward by proving their true individual worth.
  • Equality under law is essential irrespective of gender; Men and women should be given equal protection from and equal punishment for any crime.
  • Equal rights beget equal responsibilities; Men and women must not only enjoy equal rights but they must also shoulder equal responsibilities.

We would like to promote gender harmony through following The “TEN” Commandments:

  1. Doing injustice to men is not equal to Doing justice to women.
  2. Oppressing men is not equal to Uplifting women.
  3. Harming men is not equal to Protecting women.
  4. Disempowering men is not equal to Empowering women.
  5. Denying opportunities to men is not equal to Providing opportunities for women.
  6. Penalizing men is not equal to Rewarding women.
  7. Degrading men is not equal to Honouring women.
  8. Undermining men’s lives is not equal to Valuing women’s lives.
  9. Neglecting men’s welfare is not equal to Promoting women’s welfare.
  10. Violating men’s rights is not equal to Upholding women’s rights.

On the occasion of the launch of TEN-India, we are inaugurating a flyer campaign which will continue until 8th March, International Women’s Day.

We will spread our message to as many young women as possible in Hyderabad, and encourage them to become members of TEN-India. We will expand our “movement for real empowerment” to the rest of India in the coming years.

*************************************

“To be a feminist is to acknowledge that one’s life has been regressed. The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority and there has been no need for such a thing in India as the women have always been by the side of men in Council and in the fields of battle…. We must have no mutual conflict in our homes or abroad. We must transcend differences. We must rise above nationalism, above religion, above sex.”

Sarojini Naidu

(at the Fourth session of All India Women’s Conference, Bombay, 1930)



TEN – India INVITATION

https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/ten-india-invitation

INVITATION

INAUGURAL FUNCTION AND PRESS CONFERENCE

LAUNCH OF

“TRUE EQUITY NETWORK (TEN) – INDIA”

On 01.02.2010 at 11:00 a.m.

Venue: Sundarayya Vignyana Kendram (Mini Hall), Baglingampally

“True Equity Network (TEN) – India” is the youth wing of

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA).

Through TEN- India, AIFWA endeavours to:

  • enable young women to discover the beauty of womanhood and the true meaning of empowerment.
  • inculcate self-esteem among young women and encourage them to appreciate true gender equality.
  • help young women understand “Equal Means Equal”.
  • urge young women to reject preferential treatment over men in all areas of life.
  • encourage young women to make use of their own strengths and excel in their chosen fields of study or vocation.
  • promote among young women, a healthy attitude towards themselves as well as towards men.
  • promote balanced, self-respecting, hard working women as positive female role models.

Please join us and make our event a success!

TEN-India Invitation

TEN-India Invitation

True Equity Network – India (Being launched on 01.02.2010)

“To be a feminist is to acknowledge that one’s life has been regressed. The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority and there has been no need for such a thing in India as the women have always been by the side of men in Council and in the fields of battle…. We must have no mutual conflict in our homes or abroad. We must transcend differences. We must rise above nationalism, above religion, above sex.”

–       Sarojini Naidu

(at the Fourth session of All India Women’s Conference, Bombay, 1930)

  • Equal does not mean same; Men and women are different but are equally entitled to constitutional rights and human rights.
  • Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome; Men and women must maintain their self-esteem and earn respect and reward by proving their true individual worth.
  • Equality under law is essential irrespective of gender; Men and women should be given equal protection from and equal punishment for any crime.
  • Equal rights beget equal responsibilities; Men and women must not only enjoy equal rights but they must also shoulder equal responsibilities.

The “TEN” Commandments:

  1. Doing injustice to men is not equal to Doing justice to women.
  2. Oppressing men is not equal to Uplifting women.
  3. Harming men is not equal to Protecting women.
  4. Disempowering men is not equal to Empowering women.
  5. Denying opportunities to men is not equal to Providing opportunities for women.
  6. Penalizing men is not equal to Rewarding women.
  7. Degrading men is not equal to Honouring women.
  8. Undermining men’s lives is not equal to Valuing women’s lives.
  9. Neglecting men’s welfare is not equal to Promoting women’s welfare.
  10. Violating men’s rights is not equal to Upholding women’s rights.

ON WOMEN’S DAY, 8 MARCH 2010

JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR REAL EMPOWERMENT!

Join “TEN-India” if you believe in equity and justice irrespective of gender!

Join “TEN-India” to oppose gender war!

—————————————————————————————————————————–

TEN-India is the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA)

_______________________________________________________

Click on the image below for printable version:

Press Release on Women’s Equality, 26th August 2008

Press Release on Women’s Equality, 26th August 2008
by
Mothers and Sisters Initiative (MASI) and All India Forgotten Women (AIFW)

Women’s empowerment and gender equality are two of the oft-repeated phrases today. It is sad enough that there are many who take great pride in wearing these labels while remaining completely oblivious of their true import. What is worse is that radical women’s groups and vested interests have successfully subverted the real meaning and purpose of women’s empowerment and gender equality and are promoting discrimination, injustice and serious human rights abuses in the name of women’s rights.

On Women’s Equality Day, 26th August, 2008, members of Mothers and Sisters Initiative (MASI) and All India Forgotten Women (AIFW) highlight how various discriminatory laws claiming to empower and protect women are serving as weapons that promote family destruction and perpetrate large scale human rights abuses against men, women and children.

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau indicates that every year, over 1 lakh innocent persons (one innocent person every 5 minutes) are arrested under IPC Section 498A. Every year, close to 30,000 innocent women (one innocent woman every 20 minutes) and 4,000 innocent senior citizens (one innocent elderly person every 2.5 hours) are arrested under IPC Section 498A. Every year close to 350 children (one child per day) are arrested under IPC Section 498A.

Is allowing arrests of innocent citizens and treating them as “guilty until proven innocent” a measure to promote Women’s Equality?

At present, unnatural death of a woman within seven years of her marriage is considered as dowry death, attracting punishment to the accused husband and relatives under IPC Section 304(B). While the current seven year rule and the automatic presumption of “dowry death” is in itself absurd, the National Commission for Women (NCW) is now pressuring the Government to broaden the scope of Dowry Prohibition Act so that unnatural death of a woman at ANY stage of her marriage qualifies as dowry death. While every death of a young married woman is converted into a case of dowry death leading to immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, large-scale suicides of men do not cause any outrage. While husbands and their relatives are under constant suspicion leading to frequent violation of their basic human rights, wives are rarely ever questioned leave alone prosecuted if a husband dies or ends his life under similar circumstances.

Is this outright discrimination against men and their families a means to promote Women’s Equality?

The Domestic Violence Act claims to protect women from physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and economical abuse. According to the law an aggrieved person is always a woman and the aggressor is always a man. Thus, the law only recognizes domestic violence committed by a man on a woman. While this law is heavily biased against men, there are many gross inconsistencies in the law, which prove that the DV Act is not good for women either. The DV Act allows legally wedded women, divorced women and girlfriends (former or present) to subject a man and his relatives to domestic violence and legal harassment. The law also allows a daughter-in-law to evict the husband along with his dependent mother, father, brothers and sisters from their own property.

Does providing a woman the ability to have a man stripped of his possessions and kicked out of his house along with his family members (on the mere basis of her accusation of domestic violence) qualify as Women’s Equality?

CrPC 125 is a Criminal Section which is biased towards women. Under this section, any legally married woman who cannot sustain life on her own can legally claim maintenance from the husband, while an impoverished husband cannot claim maintenance from his gainfully-employed wife. It is a well-known fact that a large proportion of women who are well educated, employed or qualified enough to find gainful employment are approaching courts to demand maintenance from the husband. Such women also simultaneously entangle the husband and his family in false criminal cases under Section 498A and Dowry Prohibition Act. They also use civil provisions like the Domestic Violence Act and Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act (in addition to CrPC 125) to demand maintenance from the husband. NCW is now pushing for providing maintenance not only to legally wedded/separated/divorced wives but also to female live-in partners. Another major amendment sought by NCW in Section 125 of CrPC is that women who have violated the sanctity and the legal contract of marriage by committing adultery should be considered as victims and also provided maintenance.

Does allowing women to treat men as ATM machines and encouraging them to lead a parasitic life qualify as Women’s Equality?

Women also misuse legal provisions to alienate children from fathers when marriages break down. Many fathers suffer immensely due to separation from their children and many children are deprived of access to fatherly love and care.

Is misuse of the judicial process to violate a child’s right to both parents a symbol of Women’s Equality?

Many representations have been made to the Ministry of Women and Child Development to correct the laws and to make them gender neutral in the interest of equality, fairness and justice to men and women. Requests have been made to include gender neutral, family friendly organizations like Mothers and Sisters Initiative (MASI) and All India Forgotten Women (AIFW) in the discussion, draft and review of laws related to women. While the Ministry of Women and Child Development, in its Round Table Conference conducted on 25 June 2008, admitted that the present pro-women laws are being grossly misused, no measures have been taken to curb the large scale misuse of the laws and the ensuing human rights abuses.

NCW is trivializing the extent of misuse of these laws by women and is exaggerating statistics of dowry harassment, dowry death and domestic abuse in order to attract funds from foreign agencies like UNIFEM and USAID and to push for more stringent legal provisions. NCW has blatantly denied any help to innocent mothers and sisters who have been falsely accused and harassed under IPC Section 498A and Section 304(B). NCW is pressuring the Government to ignore any recommendations to amend IPC Section 498A and Domestic Violence Act which might make the provisions gender neutral and less prone to misuse.

NCW is denying domestic abuse against our fathers, brothers and sons and refusing protection to husbands and their male and female relatives from abusive wives. As a result, twice as many married men, compared to women, are committing suicide every year unable to endure physical, emotional, verbal and economic abuse and legal harassment.

Is the pain of a mother who lost a son to domestic abuse or legal terrorism any less than that of a mother who lost a daughter? How many more mothers and sisters should lose their sons and brothers before measures are taken to alleviate their sufferings?
Aren’t mothers and sisters women? Don’t they deserve a life of dignity and respect?
Does penalizing innocent mothers and sisters under false cases bring justice to genuinely abused women?
Does women’s empowerment mean destroying family harmony and creating a fatherless society?
Is protection of women’s rights synonymous with gross violation of basic human rights?
Is legal terrorism the solution to all women’s problems?

These are the questions we have posed time and again to the National Commission for Women and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, while they conveniently ignore and divert attention from these very pertinent and pressing issues.

On the occasion of Women’s Equality Day, we the members of MASI and AIFW make the following demands:

1. Mrs. Renuka Chowdhury should resign from the position of Minister for Women and Child Development, and Girija Vyas should be removed as the Chairperson of NCW, both for having miserably failed to protect innocent citizens, especially women, children and elders, from being arrested without trial/investigation in cases filed under Section 498A IPC and Section 304(B).
2. Grievances of mothers and sisters who are falsely accused and harassed under IPC Section 498A, Dowry Prohibition Act, Section 304(B) and Domestic Violence Act must be heard and redressed by State Women Commissions as well as National Commission for Women and the Women and Child Development Ministry.
3. No arrests of any of the accused (man, woman or child) should be made without proper investigation and written approval of police officials of the rank of DCP or above.
4. Persons filing false cases should be severely punished for misusing the judicial process and blocking the path of justice for genuine victims. The State should initiate prosecution suo motu against those found to be misusing laws to settle personal scores.
5. All civil and criminal laws should be made applicable to men and women equally. Specifically, provisions of IPC 498A, Domestic Violence Act, adultery laws, laws against rape and sexual harassment and family laws (divorce, maintenance and child custody) should be made gender-neutral.
6. Equal protection should be given to men and women against verbal, emotional, economic, physical and sexual abuse at home and in the work place.
7. Family friendly, gender neutral organizations like MASI and AIFW should be included in every discussion, draft and review committee on laws related to women.

Memorandum on Women’s Equality Day 2008