A concept that is very much existent but highly denied by many. Especially by people who believe that gender inequality is a non-existent concept in Indian society. Gender-based inequality is not only very much existent but has also proven to be the cause of several gender-based crimes and issues. Not only in the country but all over the world.
Although opportunities for women have increased over the decades, there still lie the generalized biases that society holds against us. Gender pay gap, wrongful behavior at the workplace, etc. are still major barriers that hinder the workplace freedom that women desire.
Moreso importantly, these issues are only evidently seen in urban areas due to the lack of employment opportunities for the rural communities. While most men take up farming and other village work, women stay at home and tend to their children, finish the endless household chores and sometimes work in the fields. Having a financially independent and free life is scarcely a choice for such women. Due to the major lack of awareness and the patriarchal nature of most rural settlements, women are expected to stay within certain ‘limits’.
The Brand Called You has featured many strong women from diverse backgrounds on the podcast. One such woman who endlessly works towards improving the lives of other women, is Uthara Narayanan.
“I believe that unless people own their problems and solutions things are not going to change.”
- Uthara Narayanan
A true feminist in her roots, Uthara is driven by empathy, change, and commitment. She is the Co-Founder and Changemaker of Buzz India, an organization that works towards helping people out of poverty. It is a grassroots women empowerment and community development program that brings knowledge, skills, and tools to the doorstep of women. They allow women to take charge of their problems and help them find apt solutions and resources, accordingly.
Uthara along with her team has helped 2.5 lakh, rural women, by providing them with apt awareness, the right resources, tools, and continuous encouragement. Her work has helped a large number of women to build a life for themselves outside of their household duties and also generate some earnings.
The stories of these women are heartwarming and inspiring. Uthara has given these women an independent perspective on their monotonous lives. She strongly believes that the biggest injustice in the world is not the lack of wealth, but the lack of opportunities!
“This is the first woman I met. Devama. I met her in 2012 and I met her in her house. She’s a talker! She gave me a lot of stories of how her life is miserable and things are not working out. She was very young at that time, I’d say around 35.
- My husband beats me, comes home drunk, doesn’t earn as much and we don’t have a lot of money.
My question to her then was – What do you want to do? What’s your dream?
- What do you mean- a dream? I go from being a daughter and wife and then a mother. And someday probably a grandmother. There’s nothing that I can dream of.
Devama’s story took a very interesting turn when, with Uthara’s encouragement, she decided to call out her husband’s abusive behavior and started her own tailoring business just outside her house. Devama also managed to send her husband to a rehab center and educated her kids. She commendably turned the atmosphere of her house around!
Such is the power of determined women. Like Devama there are thousands of women who irrespective of their skill and desire to work, often just remain wrapped in the monotonous and patriarchal routines of society. If given opportunities, I strongly believe that every single woman of this country has the potential to outdo themselves in diverse fields.
Feminism, while being a powerful movement, is incomplete and pointless if it does not include women coming from differing backgrounds. Rural women need our support, now, more than ever. With thousands of opportunities that are available for women in urban areas, it is very important that we extend the opportunities and resources to these women as well.
Our feminism will only be complete but also stronger if we are ALL in it together.
Tune in to our YouTube channel to watch the mentioned interviews.