New Delhi, Jan 8 (UNI) When it comes to making personal choices, NRI women or educated upper class women in India find themselves very often as much disadvantaged as their poorer and less educated lot, with such attempt sometimes resulting in extreme punishments as so-called 'honour' killing.
The fact was underlined with expression of great concern by two leading women of the country CPI(M) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat and celebrated dancer and social activist Mallika Sarabhai at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here today.
Ms Karat suggested formation of a global network of NRI women to extend them help in their hours of crisis.
She said those who wanted empowerment of women, should first disempower the forces which were destroying the democratic values and perpetuating the patriarchal mindset, those holding power in different echelons and endorsing retrograde values and practices in the name of preserving culture.
She called for creating a global network of NRI women and asked the NRIs to give their suggestions and participate actively in the formation of such a body.
The CPI(M) leader also urged the government to sign the Hague Convention so that NRI women could avail of the laws of the country they were living in.
Ms Karat that recent incidents in Kenya and Malaysia had shown the vulnerability of NRI women, and the Government should take up the matter with those states.
Ms Sarabhai in her brief but powerful remarks said no amount of legislation and policing would check crime against women unless a fight was not taken up against patriarchal mindset.
Despite education and economic independence, women were yet to enjoy the control over their bodies, she sought to point out.
A woman may be a pilot, an engineer or made a success in some other profession, still her social acceptability was often measured by whether she observed 'karva Chauth'( A fast observed for the the well being of husband), she said.
The theme of the session was 'Challenges in Women's Empowerment and Leadership' and was chaired by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar.
UNI NAZ PK RN1944