The plight of women in India these days is a sad reflection on our society. In earlier days, women were treated like goddess and were respected in every way but now time has changed. Women in large number, be it rural or urban, are subjected to exploitation and humiliation in every field. Though, India is free for the last 60 years, till now a majority of women are not free enough to speak their mind and raise voice against different kinds of mental and physical sufferings or harassment. The reason behind all this is lack of emotional touch for humanity especially for the women strata of the society. Today even Delhi, the national capital of the country, is the most unsafe city for women. They are becoming victim of sick and dirty minds every single day.
There are various forms in which people exploit a woman. Incidents of rape, particularly among young and adolescent girls, are reported almost daily. These days it is not only the stranger who rapes a girl, but also a father. One of the facts is also that of the 30 rapes committed by relatives of the victims, fathers were responsible for eight of them. Apart from rape, there are other forms in which a woman is harassed mentally or physically or both like molestation, eve-teasing, dowry death and cruelty by in-laws, etc.
If we consider the innumerable forms of violence, women in India are subjected to, it is a testament to their determination and strength that so many women survive, grow and achieve so much. But still, most people prefer to have a baby boy instead of a girl. They go for amniocentesis?a pre-natal medical technique that indicates, among other things the sex of the foetus. Tests like amniocentesis and chorionic villus biopsy, devised to detect genetic abnormalities, were banned for sex determination in Maharashtra and Rajasthan a decade ago. A similar central bill awaits ratification since 1992. Meanwhile, the tests are still offered in clinics in Mumbai and other cities, as a package deal. If the foetus is female, the cost of the test covers the cost of the subsequent abortion. A baby girl is killed by any of these methods: stuffing her mouth with black salt, lacing the milk fed to her with pesticide, suffocating her with a wet towel, starving her to death, etc.
Such contempt for female life, in conjunction with a high maternal mortality rate, the gross neglect of women'shealth and dowry deaths accounts for millions of ?missing? women in India. If a woman escapes female infanticide at birth, she has to face the next set of hurdles that are laid down for her at every stage. And this is related not only with rural part of the country but also associated with the urban section of the society. The 21st century must become synonymous with the time the women finally get their rightful place in society. Respect for a woman, her needs and aspirations are essential because only then can she give her best to the society.