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International Day of Democracy: Why Are We Celebrating It While Women’s Rights Are Compromised The World Over?

September 15, 2022 | by Mehak Walia
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Democracy was the revolutionary idea of the political system which changed the course of history. It is a people-centred idea which provides people with authority. To commemorate it, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15th September as the International Day of Democracy. But the current situation with a major ongoing flood in Pakistan, the massive rise of crimes against women in India, the rapid infringement of women’s rights like the abortion laws in the USA and of course, the war between Russia and Ukraine,  every promise made by democracy seems to have turned into a farce, and women end up suffering the most in every scenario. 

Source: Freepik

Democracy is often defined as a system of government formed from the masses, by the masses and for the masses. Yes, these appointed leaders are supposed to represent, support and work for all of us. You know to make all our lives better? Alas, this doesn’t seem to be the situation. Everything around the globe seems to be getting worse for women and now, we live in an era where even democracies have made it difficult for women to exercise their basic rights.

How Is Democracy Turning Out To Be A Disgrace?

It’s a known fact that we elect leaders in the hope that they will make just and fair legislation for the benefit of society as a whole. But what we get is just corruption and exploitation, people in power who have the responsibility to think and work for the people are primarily focused only on their selfish gains and helping a selected few. And in the end, people in power exploit everyone. But the vulnerable sections of the society including women, children, minorities, the poor and the socially backward suffer the most. More so because they are still struggling for their basic needs and rights. I mean the very fact that women that are one-half of the population are still counted in the vulnerable section of our society should be an indication enough of how democracy is not processing as it was supposed to. 

Source: Pexels

It’s as if equality, justice and freedom which are the principles of democracy are literally missing from the world today. The crimes against women and children make the matter way worse for them. According to the World Economic Forum 2022 report on Global Gender Gap, we live in a world where we still need more than 132 years for all countries to close the gender gap that keeps on widening every damn day, that’s how awful the situation around the globe is, for women and it’s just getting worse every day. 

Source: Pexels

How Is The Situation Worsening For Women?

I mean, we are now living in a world where Afgan women can’t get an education, Muslim women in India can’t wear hijab to school, Ukrainian women can’t get to safety and American women can’t get abortions, women’s rights are at a visible all-time low. Women don’t have the economic, political or social equality as men. The unequal pay a woman received for the same amount of work is just one example of how financial independence is still a dream for many. As for political equality, worldwide the Global Gender Gap Study, it was found that the political empowerment of women is just 22%. It gets worse because even under this meagre number of women’s political representation, there are cases in India where the women who do get the opportunity to work for the betterment of society by being elected in elections, just end up becoming a figurehead for their husbands to take over.

Even when it comes to voting in the elections, their votes are influenced by their husbands or family’s opinions. Apart from all of this, achieving social equality is something women these days don’t even dream of, they have accepted the unequal treatment between men and women. This social inequality is so embedded in our society that it has now become invisible to the eyes of people, it has become the way society works.

Also Read: Hautetalk: We’re In 2022. Why Are Women Still Being Tortured, Raped, Murdered Because Of Superstition?

Talking about justice and freedom, a woman is granted as much freedom as is acceptable by society, nothing more and nothing less. This restricted freedom where a man “allows” his wife to work, go out, and even have fun has become the norm. You know, the freedom over which the woman has no control is what we have received in this democracy. Women don’t even have the liberty over their own bodies, from how they dress to abortion laws everything should be controlled. One recent example of this is the scrapping of the right to abort in the USA, a democratic and “developed” country. 

Furthermore, justice has turned into a commodity for the powerful and isn’t a luxury which the vulnerable can even fathom. They have to adjust to what life offers them. The so-called justice a woman gets can be seen in the thousands of pending cases of rape, dowry deaths, molestation etc. The recent grand welcome received by the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case is the justice a woman who struggled, has received. 

This just shows how weak and crumbling our society really is and how democracy isn’t the ray of hope we wished it to be. Therefore we have no reason to celebrate democracy, we could have celebrated it had it brought some significant improvement in the common man’s life, but that didn’t happen. Maybe this discontent is what is leading to a decreasing faith in the idea of democracy.

Alas, from the war in Ukraine to military coups in many countries like Myanmar, Afghanistan, Sudan, etc, the democratic hold over the world is slowly decreasing. These countries are not getting the needed support to bring back or continue with democracy. Is this the beginning of another change in the course of history? Is this the beginning of another kind of political system ruling the world?

Also Read: Women’s Equality Day 2022: Films And Shows To Watch To Learn About Women’s Suffrage

Maybe or maybe not but one thing is clear, what we need right now, is to reimplement democracy and its ideals effectively for the welfare of the people as a whole. Democracy does have the potential to make the world a better place, come on, let’s not the democracy become a disgrace, huh? 

Image Source: Pexels

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