Sarla Chhewang, President Mahila Mandal Leh: When we talk about women empowerment in Ladakh it is not a big issue like in other parts of India. We have witnessed a drastic change in women status with time. Today, the mentality and attitudes of the people are also changing in society.
In the past, women were mostly indulged in household chores and no one thinks of taking part in other activities outside the wall. A woman is busy with cooking food for family members, maintaining the household chores, taking care of animals etc has left her with very less scope for education. On the other hand, men got the education in more numbers as compared to the women.
But today, women in our society are more empowered. They are active and successful in every field. We have women doctors, engineers, and pilot and even I saw women taxi driver in Ladakh. This has proved that women are smart and strong enough to handle and balance her professional as well as personal life. Today there are families in our society which are managed and run by a woman. They are the bread earners in many of the families.
When we talk about social evil practices like dowry system, many women in our country suffered and victimized. But this evil system is not in Ladakh but the system of sending hefty valuable gifts during the marriage is becoming a part of the dowry. This practice should be changed in order to stop the dowry system in our society which is prevailing in most of the states. If we do not stop now than the day is not far that we have to face the same problem as other parts of the country.
When it comes to leading the society or joining politics, I think the lack of confidence and encouragement among the women themselves is missing. India is a democratic country and everyone is privileged with equal rights, but the lack of awareness brings obstacles in taking part in politics. On the other hand, it is very important to support and motivate each other to fulfil the endeavors of others. Self-confidence, determination and the strength to overcome the failure are very important among the women of our society to rise and lead.
Women of our society have all the quality and skills, the only need is the opportunity and support to take part and lead. To uplift woman in the society, motivation and support are utmost important.
In most of the criminal cases against women, people always questioned the character of the woman. This mentality should be changed among the people. Awareness is very important to change the mental attitudes and behaviours of society. Sex education is very important to be imparted which is not been initiated openly in our society.
To make a change and to empower woman in true sense awareness, support, and opportunity is very important.
• Awareness about the right and freedom should be given to the women.
• Giving chance and encouragement among women is needed in our society.
• Fight for your own right, no one will serve you.
• Obliterate the ego problem and support each other for a change is a need of the hour.
Otsal Wangdus, President District Bar Association, Leh: In Ladakh, the status of women is better as compared to the other parts of India. In other parts when a girl child is born everyone considers her as a big burden and on the other hand, giving birth to a son is considered as a mark of happiness and distributes sweets. Due to this mental set up the evil system of infanticide has been seen among the people. Secondly, the dowry system is considered as a part and parcel of life which needs to be faced by all women. Luckily, this system is not here in Ladakh. Women are equal to men in terms of education, birth, and everything.
In Ladakh, one of the drawbacks that I have seen is the increasing divorce and maintenance case day by day as compared to other cases. In many parts of our society, Panchayat or the village headman handles the couple cases and declares them divorce which is illegal. In such case, it is settled on the ground of favouritism and the proper justice is not delivered.
But in the judiciary, under section 488 CRPC, proper maintenance for child and wife is given, the judge hears the statement of both the couple and delivers the judgment accordingly. There is a proper channel in court for divorce for which there is a need for proper ground if someone files the divorce case. The judge gives counselling for the couple and gives them a period of six months for proper decision after which the final divorce records.
The latest amendment in Section 354-RPC-Outraging the modesty of women includes that even if man misconduct with a woman on a mobile phone or stalking. In addition, in rape cases, the victim will be checked only by a female doctor.
Thus it is very important for people to know about legal rights and should avail it accordingly.
The legal system in India is very strict but the execution rate is slow and declining. So there is a need to change the mindset of people and use the law accordingly for a better and crime-free society.
• Not just limiting to academic, a complete education is important to be imparted among the public so that proper execution will take place for any kind of crime.
• Awareness about the rights and duties is necessary to fight for it.
• Women should lodge a complaint to the court, we have women CJM in Leh.