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E-Pao! Essays - Woman – The Child of Pain

Woman – The Child of Pain
‘Woman thy name is Sacrifice’

By: Josangkim Pudaite *



Original sin in the Garden of Eden was Woman. She tasted the Forbidden Fruit, tempted by Satan and has been paying for it ever since. In Genesis the Lord said ‘ I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception. In sorrow thy shall bring forth Children, and thy desire shall be to thy Husband and he shall rule over thee.

Eve’s Eden Debacle has been quoted time and time again and through generations to justify and perpetuate for the subservient position of Woman in the family and the society as a whole. Right from the start the Woman has always been ‘the silent and the giving one’, ‘the meek and the gentle. The one who has always been over ruled, the one who always compromised, serve and sacrifice. Subservient she always has been to her Male Counterpart. But being blessed with an infinite capacity for suffering and endowed with endless love and compassion, She carries our Her role in her subjugated position diligently without complaints.

Though there are few who would cling on to their belief that ‘ A Woman can never be an equal to the Man’. And to support their adamant stand, they would even state the inherent Biological differences between the two sexes of Humanity. And the division of Labor in the family and society based on such Biological differences, which the Sociologists have termed ‘ The Human Bio-Grammar’.

If one analyzes and carefully studies the different cultures, civilizations, and even societies of different faith and religions down the annals of time. One can find with the exception of a few ‘ One Striking and Glaring Similarity – which is The Common subjugation and exploitation of Woman’.

We read in History the deplorable plight of the Hindu Women, Who were for long denied even basic Human Rights. Religious texts and Sacred Books were interpreted in such a way that the Women Folk remain subjugated, oppressed and chained by ancient beliefs and traditions. The Women were never treated at par with the men folks, and there were many social evils imposed on her by the Male Dominated Society. She remained a slave chained by the social evils like Child Marriage, Female Infanticide, and the diabolical and inhuman practice of Sati – The burning alive of a Window on the funeral pyre of her Husband. Widow remarriage too was prohibited. Thus the Hindu Woman never had the liberty or the freedom to be what she wanted to be.

It was only with the Social Reform Movement launched by Enlightened and Educated Men like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Vidyasagar to name a few, that the lot of the Women folks in the Hindu Society and India as a whole came to be a bit better, and the Hindu Women started to enjoy some sort of freedom and independence. As the saying goes ‘ Old Habits Die Hard’, Some of the Socials Evils that haunted the Hindu Women in the 19th Century or the periods before continued to be practiced till today even by ‘educated people’, a good example will be ‘the inhuman custom of Dowry’.

Because of the prevalent practice of ‘the Dowry System’, The Birth of a Baby Girl in a Hindu Family is never welcomed, she was discriminated right from the time she is a toddler. She was looked down as a liability, on which the family would have to spend a huge amount of Money for Her Dowry. While the Girls in a Hindu family were treated as ‘ a huge liability’. On the contrary the birth of a Baby Boy is a joyous occasion, because with the exception of a few. Every Hindu Parents wish is that ‘their Beta’ would find them a Nice Bahu who would bring them ‘A Big Dowry’ in cash or kind.

The dowry problem has assumed a dangerous form in this country. The parents of the Girls have to pay thousands of lacs to the bridegroom and their greedy parents. If promised articles are not given by the parents of the Bride. The cruel and greedy members of the Bridegroom’s family take recourse to afflicting tortures on the married women. Some Women are even murdered in such cases. No wonder there are many dowry related cases all over India. The Dowry Deaths are really heinous and barbarous crimes committed by the cruel and inhumane persons who are just ‘Gold – Diggers’.

The young girls should be bold enough in not marrying the boys who demand dowry through their parents. The boys should also refuse to marry if their parents demand dowry. But unfortunately the number of such bold and conscientious boys is very few. Even the doctors, engineers, teachers and the administrative officers do not hesitate in allowing themselves to be sold to the wealthy fathers of shy and timid girls. Such persons have really brought disgrace to their cadres in particular and society in general. The government should enact stringent laws to afflict rigorous punishment on dowry seekers, women's murderers, and rapers.

This oppressive and inhuman custom of Dowry came under fire from none other than the father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi.

"The oppressive custom of dowry too came under fire from Gandhi. He preferred girls to remain unmarried all their lives than to be humiliated and dishonored by marrying men who demanded dowry. He found dowry marriages ‘heartless.’" Gandhi wished for mutual consent, mutual love, and mutual respect between husband and wife. He said, "Marriage must cease to be a matter of arrangement made by parents for money. The system is intimately connected with caste. So long as the choice is limited to a few hundred young men or young women of a particular caste, the system will persist, no matter what is said against it. The girls or boys or their parents will have to break the bonds of caste if the evil is to be eradicated."

The Position of a woman in the Muslim society is no better. During the Muslim period of history they were deprived of their rights of equality with men. They were compelled to keep themselves within the four walls of their houses with a long veil on their faces. This was definitely due to Islamic influence. Even today in some Islamic countries women are not allowed to go out freely. The conservative regimes of Iran and Pakistan, for example, have withdrawn the liberties given to women folk by the previous liberal governments. Even in India the Muslim women are far more backward than their Hindu, Christian and Sikh counterparts. The sight of Muslim women walking with long 'Burkas' (veils) on their person is not very rare. The women are, as a matter of fact, regarded as captive and saleable commodities in Muslim families. One man is allowed to have so many wives with the easiest provision of divorce.

The husband can divorce a wife just by saying 'I divorce you' (Talaq) under the provision of Muslim laws. This is what the emperors did hundred years back and the men are doing it even now in almost all Islamic countries. Even in this last phase of the twentieth century rich and prosperous men of Islamic countries keep scores of wives in their harems. It was natural outcome of the Muslim subjugation of India that woman was relegated to a plaything of man, an ornament to decorate the drawing room. Serving, knitting, painting and music were her pastimes and cooking and cleaning her business

Men who have excelled themselves in various fields and walks of life have always harped upon the importance of women. Napoleon Bonaparte once said ‘ Give me good women and I will give you a good nation’. Napoleon Bonaparte the Great Conqueror seems to imply in the statement that He gave that - A Good Woman will naturally be a Good Mother, A Loyal Wife, who in turn will trained and a Child in the way he or she should go, which would eventually lead to men and women of integrity who would go a long way in making the Nation Great and prosperous. Education of any kind after all begins at Home and the Family, which is the unit of the State. Manu, the great law-giver, said long ago, 'where women are honored there reside the gods'.

MAHATMA GANDHI VIEWS ON WOMEN:

By one definition, a feminist is a person who is in favor of, and who promotes, the equality of women with men, a person who advocates and practices treating women primarily as human persons (as men are so treated) and willingly contravenes social customs in so acting.

If we are to go by that definition than, the Father of the Nation Bapu Mahatma Gandhi was no doubt a true feminist. He was a strong believer in equal rights for woman. Gandhiji was totally against the injustice, social evils, and the oppression of the Women Folks in the Society.

In his own words,

"Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity - to me, the female sex, not the weaker sex. It is the nobler of the two, for it is even today the embodiment of sacrifice, silent suffering, humility, faith and knowledge."

Gandhiji went on to say ‘Woman is the incarnation of ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering. And who but woman, the mother of man, shows this capacity in the largest measure? ? Let her translate that love to the whole of humanity. And she will occupy her proud position by the side of man ...She can become the leader in Satyagraha."’ Gandhi spoke strongly against Child Marriage, isolation and subjugation of woman, and Woman own subservient mentality.

What is significant here is his image of woman and his hope for her, so radically different from that of any earlier reformer. He was not the first to address women's issues in India; the great cultural renaissance, as also the ferment of political agitations for freedom had already reached a high peak in the late nineteenth century. Before the advent of Gandhi on the scene, the attitude to women, though sympathetic, was patronising; leaders and social reform groups thought in language that made women look helpless. They wanted to protect, uplift, bring relief to women. No doubt there was value in all of it. Yet, with Gandhi a new, unique element emerged. Woman to him was neither man’s plaything, nor his competitor, struggling to be like him.

What she needed most was education, the recognition of her birthright to be free and equal, to steer her own destiny side by side with man. "Therefore," he argues, "ultimately, woman will have to determine with authority what she needs. My own opinion is that, just as fundamentally men and women are one, their problem must be one in essence. The soul in both is the same. The two live the same life, have the same feelings. Each is a complement of the other. The one cannot live without the other’s active help. "But somehow or other man has dominated woman from ages past, and so woman has developed an inferiority complex. She has believed in the truth of man’s interested teaching that she is inferior to him. But the seers among men have recognized her equal status."

Gandhiji spoke of his wife Kasturba as "above" himself, and it is to her moral strength and example that he says he owed his most unique and potent idea in personal growth as well as in activist politics. He acknowledges, "I learned the lesson of non-violence from my wife, when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering of my stupidity involved on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity in thinking that I was born to rule her.

The Father of the Nation was deeply agonized by two oppression in Indian life 1) the oppression of people of low birth referred to as the untouchable, and 2) the oppression of women

He saw men and women as equals, complementing each other. And he saw himself not as a visionary, but as a practical idealist. If then, men and women work together selflessly and sincerely as equals with a faith like Gandhi’s, they may indeed realise Ram Rajya, the perfect state. Traditionally, woman has been called abala. In Sanskrit and many other Indian languages bala means strength. Abala means one without strength. If by strength we do not mean brutish strength, but strength of character, steadfastness, endurance, she should be called sabala, strong

The Women found in him (M.K. Gandhi) a Leader whom they could identify with. No wonder when Gandhiji gave the call for the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 during the Freedom Struggle. Women set aside their traditional duties, came out into the open and fought shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, and offered Satyagraha; they remained undaunted by Police Beatings and faced extreme hardships in the cold prison cells across India. Even Tribal Women from the woods joined the freedom movement.

His Pro Woman Stance was evident in the message that He gave at at the All India Women’s Conference on December 23, 1936 was, "When woman, whom we call abala becomes sabala, all those who are helpless will become powerful."

Gandhi also added ‘ I am firmly of the opinion that India salvation depends on the sacrifice and enlightenment of Woman’ (Abala means one without strength. If by strength we do not mean brutish strength, but strength of character, steadfastness, She should be called SABLA - STRONG)

JESUS THE FEMINIST:

Let us also take a look at another ‘Great Revolutionary’, who walked upon the face of this earth thousands years ago. Who was also a stern believer in equal rights for Women, a tireless propagator and an endless campaigner for equal treatment of Women, Who shook the very times that He live in. His name - Jesus the Nazarene

The status of women in Palestine during the time of Jesus was very decidedly that of inferiors. The woman is "in all things inferior to the man," said first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Jewish Rabbis in the first century were encouraged not to teach or even to speak with women. Jewish wisdom literature tells us that "he that talks much with womankind brings evil upon himself and neglects the study of the Law and at the last will inherit Gehenna [hell]." It was in this oppressive context that Jesus lived.

One of the first things noticed in the biographies about Jesus' attitude toward women is that he taught them both the meaning of the Scriptures and religious truths in general. When it is recalled that in Judaism it was considered improper, and even "obscene," to teach women the Scriptures, this action of Jesus was an extraordinary, deliberate decision to break with a custom invidious to women. Moreover, women became disciples and followers of Jesus. (Luke 8:1) The significance of this phenomenon of women following Jesus about, learning from and ministering to him, can be properly appreciated only when it is recalled that not only were women not to read or study the Scriptures, but in the more observant settings they were not even to leave their household, whether as a daughter, wife, or member of a harem.

Within this context of women being disciples and ministers, Jesus quite deliberately broke another custom disadvantageous to women. According to the recorded eyewitness accounts Jesus' first appearance after his resurrection to any of his followers was to a woman (or women), who was then commissioned by him to bear witness of the risen Jesus to his disciples. According to Judaic law, women were not allowed to bear legal witness. Clearly this was a dramatic linking of a very definite rejection of the second-class status of women with a central element of the life of Jesus, the resurrection.

Not only did Jesus break Rabbinic laws of his day by teaching and talking to women, but he went even further. He allowed women to touch him--and women who were considered "unclean" by the society at that. Jesus touched a dead woman, the daughter of a synagogue ruler, and brought her back to life. (Luke 8:40) He allowed a prostitute to touch and wash his feet while dining with a disapproving religious Pharisee. (Luke 7:36) And Jesus allowed a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years to touch his garment in order to be healed. (Matthew 9:20) As a woman with a flow of blood, she was considered constantly unclean, which not only made her incapable of participating in any cultic action and made her in some sense "displeasing to God," but also rendered anyone and anything she touched (or anyone who touched what she had touched!) similarly unclean.

On another occasion Jesus again deliberately violated the then common code concerning men's relationship to women. It is recorded in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. (John 4:5) Normally a Jew would not address a Samaritan, as the woman pointed out: "Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans." But also normally a man would not speak to a woman in public (doubly so in the case of a rabbi). However, Jesus startled the woman by initiating a conversation. The woman was aware that on both counts, her being a Samaritan and being a woman, Jesus' action was out of the ordinary for she replied: "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" Jesus went on to reveal himself in a straightforward fashion as the Messiah for the first time. Just as when Jesus revealed himself to Martha as "the resurrection," and to Mary as the "risen one" and bade her to bear witness to the apostles, Jesus here also revealed himself in one of his key roles, as Messiah, to a woman.

His unpopular attitude toward marriage presupposed a feminist view of women; they had rights and responsibilities equal to men. It was quite possible in Jewish law for men to have more than one wife, though the reverse was not possible. Divorce, of course, also was a simple matter, to be initiated only by the man. Jesus rejected both by insisting on monogamy and the elimination of divorce. (Mark 10:2, Matthew 19:3)

Jesus' attitude toward women is also reflected in the very language attributed to him in the gospels. First, Jesus often used women in his stories and sayings, something most unusual for his culture. Secondly, the images of women Jesus used were never negative, but rather always positive--in dramatic contrast to his predecessors and contemporaries. Thirdly, these positive images of women were often very exalted. Fourthly, Jesus often taught a point by telling two similar stories or using two images, one of which featured a man and one a woman. This balance, among other things, indicated that Jesus wanted it to be abundantly clear that his teaching, unlike that of other rabbis, was intended for both women and men--and he obviously wanted this to be clear to the men as well as the women, since he told these stories to all his disciples and at times even to crowds.

From this evidence it should be clear that Jesus vigorously promoted the dignity and equality of women in the midst of a very male-dominated society: Jesus was a feminist, and a very radical one!

What should then be the ideal relationship between A Man and A Woman?

The worth of a civilization can be judged from the position that it gives to women. Of the several factors that justify the greatness of India's ancient culture, one of the greatest is the honoured place ascribed to women. According to ancient Hindu scriptures no religious rite can be performed with perfection by a man without the participation of his wife, Wife's participation is essential to any religious rite. Married men along with their wives are allowed to perform sacred rites on the occasion of various important festivals. Wives are thus befittingly called 'Ardhangani' (better-half). They are given not only important but equal position with men.

The term Woman means taken out from Men. So Woman are not a different entity, but are rather an extension of the Man. In Genesis 2:18: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."

Again we find in Genesis 2:21: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof, And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

Thus it is quite evident that ‘The Woman is indeed taken out of the Man’. As Adam the father of all Man has rightly said ‘ This is now the bone of my bones, and the flesh of my flesh, and she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’. So, an ideal relationship between a man and a woman would be one of complementary, loyalty, mutual trust, love and one of interdependence. For both are incomplete without the other, and man alone is inadequate for the Lord’s purpose.

In the words of Carol L. Arnold of Equipping Pastors International ‘ When God was to create Woman. He did not choose the ‘rib-bone’ of a man by mistake. God for instance did not choose the neck bone, but He chose the ‘rib-bone’, because God wanted to signify a very important message with this. Now if you look at the Rib-Bone, you will find that it is a very tender and fragile bone, by this God meant that Woman are to be cared for, and to be protected at all times by the Man. Secondly, if you are to locate a rib bone in a man’s body, you will find it beneath the man’s heart. The Rib Bone is located just beneath the Man’s heart, by this the Lord meant that Woman are to be loved by the Man at all times’.

Some of the early church fathers suggested that because woman was taken from Adam's rib that she was somehow inferior to man. Also another misconception arises from Genesis 2:18: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."

The expression "help meet" has often been taken to mean helper in the sense of servant, menial, apprentice or, in the extreme, a slave. The Hebrew, however, will not justify such a meaning. In fact, the word help is often used of God Himself. In Psalm 46:1, for example, God is called "a very present help" in time of trouble. Numerous examples could be given, but it is clear that the word does not mean "help" in a subservient sense. What the scripture does imply is that man alone is incomplete, inadequate to God's purpose. It may be easier to argue that God's intent in taking woman out of man was to create equality between the sexes than it is to argue that it was His intent to make man superior to woman

Some of the early church fathers attempted to conclude from this account that woman was not only inferior to man, but that she - unlike man - was not made in God's image. And yet we are told clearly in the original creation account, "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27). Man in this verse is used in the generic sense. Man was created male and female. Woman, like man, is created in the image of God. Later, in commenting on the work that He had done that day, "God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (verse 31) - including woman.

So man and woman were both perfect in their creation. They were both created in the image of God. Woman, indeed, was created for man, but a simple study of male anatomy will show that man also was created for woman. There is nothing in the creation account to imply female inferiority, male superiority, or to justify a man lording it over his wife.

Can A Woman Lead?

If indeed it was God’s intent that women should be subordinated through out history, we should expect God to assiduously avoid circumstances where women dominate. In this case Has God Ever used a Woman as in a position of leadership over man

The answer is a clear and resounding YES!!

Perhaps the most notable example in Scripture is a woman named DEBORAH - a prophetess and a judge in Israel in the years following Joshua. She is introduced to us in the fourth chapter of Judges:

And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment [Judges 4:4, 5].

There can be little doubt that Deborah was the dominant leader in Israel at this time. It is evident from the fact that when she sent for Barak, the military commander, he came at her bidding (verse 6).

Deborah was a prophetess. The Hebrew word for prophet is nabi, and its feminine form is nebiah. There are many different sorts of prophets to be found in the Bible, but essentially a prophet or a prophetess is one through whom God speaks. Consequently, when she called Barak he realized that God had a message for him.

Her message was simple. God had commanded Barak to go and take 10,000 men to fight against Sisera the captain of Jabin's army. Barak's response is of considerable interest: "And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go" (verse 8). He was dependent upon this woman not only as a messenger of God, but as a source of moral support and as an obvious leader - although not herself a military leader.

Deborah went with him, but she warned that the honor of the battle would not be Barak's, but the Lord would give Sisera into the hand of a woman. The battle was fought, Sisera and his men fled in disarray, and Sisera himself was killed by a woman named Jael who drove a tent peg through his head

Some interpreters are fond of citing this period in Israel as a time when all the men were so weak that there was no one left but a woman to lead Israel - as though it were a low point in Israel's history. Yet, it was a time when a great battle was fought and won followed by 40 years of peace. A strange circumstance for a time when God was so displeased with the character of the men of Israel.

The truth is that God simply chose a woman to hold the position of leadership during this particular point in history

Miriam and Huldah

There are two other prophetesses of note in the Bible. The first is Miriam, Moses' sister. In Exodus the 15th chapter we find "Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron," taking a timbrel in her hand and leading all the women in a song of triumph. Her words have found their way into Scripture as the song of Miriam.

Much later in Israel's history King Josiah began to reign. In his 18th year, a book was discovered in the temple - it was the book of the law. When King Josiah heard the words of the law read to him, he rent his clothes and immediately sent to inquire of God for he realized that the wrath of God was upon these people because they had not listened to the words of this book. So he sent Hilkiah the priest and others to inquire of God. They went to a woman named Huldah, a prophetess.

And she said unto them, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, tell the man that sent you to me, thus saith the Lord ...

Thus begins a rather lengthy prophecy about the evil that was to befall Israel, and a promise that it would not fall in the days of Josiah because of his humility before God. It is a simple account, but it underlines once more that occasionally, for reasons of His own, God decides to speak to man through a woman.

To be sure instances of feminine leadership were rare indeed in Old Testament times. But, then, instances of righteous male leadership are rare enough as well.


It isn't as though God wanted to establish feminine dominance, or even to erode the principle of male leadership. But it may have been necessary for Him to make a statement that women were not to be treated as man's inferiors

A BLOSSOM OF LIGHT:-

With the advent of Modern Age, the dawn of modern reason and the UN’s Declaration of Universal Human Rights, things are beginning to look up for the Women Folks who long have to be content with languishing in their Man’s Shadows.

Women are now setting aside their traditional roles, coming out of seclusion, and leaving behind the fours walls of the house that has been their Home for so long. Women are now leaving behind the purdah and the burkas, they are now looking beyond the veil, and breaking the chains of social injustice and the shackles of supertision and oppression that has bounded them for so long. They are now spreading their wings that has so long being clipped and getting to fly to leave the past and the darkness behind. Women are now entering areas, fields, and professions, which were till now an exclusive domain of their Male counter parts.

Dr. Rio, former Guitarist of the Bangalore Rock Band Millennium of Bangalore, sees a Blossom of Light, a new era, a birth of a New Dawn for Woman – the Child of Pain who has so long being subjected to a subservient position by a prejudiced male dominated society. Which He poignantly, beautifully, and movingly captured in the following lines

Out of the darkest night a blossom of light
Smiles at the skies at the dawn of a dream
It seems now so clear to me
That the night leaving soon
And tomorrow she will be free

The Child of Pain will harvest the Land
Has broken the spell
As the spring has come under Her command
Now Her hands will burn the night
Time has come for her to rule again
Free of all the vows,
Child of Pain shall come to break the chains

Faces of all those friends lost in time
Come alive in the eyes of the world
She can no more take this Shame
There is no holiness here
Its time to end this masquerade

As a result of their newly gained freedom Women have distinguished themselves in various spheres of life as politicians, orators, lawyers, doctors, administrators and diplomats. They are not only entrusted with work of responsibility but also they perform their duties very honestly and sincerely. There is hardly any sphere of life in which Women have not taken part and shown their worth. Women exercise their right to vote, contest for Parliament and Assembly, seek appointment in public office and compete in other spheres of life with men. This shows that Women enjoy today more liberty and equality than before. They have acquired more liberty to participate in the affairs of the country. They have been given equality with men in shaping their future and sharing responsibilities for themselves, their family and their country.

It is a fact that women are intelligent, hard-working and efficient in work. They put heart and soul together in whatever they undertake. As typists and clerks they are now competing successfully with men. There are many women working in the Central Secretariat. They are striving very hard to reach highest efficiency and perfection in the administrative work. Their integrity of character is probably better than men. Generally it was found that women are less susceptible to corruption in form of bribery and favoritism. They are not only sweet tongued but also honest, efficient and punctual in their jobs as receptionists, air-hostesses and booking clerks at railway reservation counters. As a matter of fact they are gradually monopolising the jobs of receptionists and Cabin Crews.

Another job in which Women are doing so well is that of teachers. In country like India where millions are groping in the darkness of illiteracy and ignorance efficient teaching to the children is most urgently needed. By virtue of their love and affection for the children the women have proved the best teachers in the primary and kindergarten schools. They can better understand the psychology of a child than the male teachers. Small children in the kindergarten schools get motherly affection from the lady teachers. It is probably significant that the Montessori system of education is being conducted mostly by the women in this country. It may be pertinent to mention here that ‘ If you educate a Man – You only educate a person, just an individual. But if you educate a Woman you educate the whole family’. Educated Women are needless to say an asset not only for the Family but for the Nation and Humanity as a whole.

Women have been serving Humanity and the World admirably as doctors and nurses. Lady doctors have been found to perform efficient surgery by virtue of their soft and accurate fingers. They have monopolised as nurses in the hospitals and nursing homes. Very few men have been able to compete with them in this sphere because the women have natural tendency to serve and clean. It is thus natural tendency found in women which motivated Florence Nightingale to make nursing popular among the women of the upper classes in England and in Europe. She showed the way to women kind how nobly they can serve humanity in the hours of sufferings and agonies.

Women's contributions in politics and social services have also been quite significant. We cannot fail to mention the names of Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady, and also one of the Longest Serving Prime Minister of U.K.) who shone so brilliantly and radiantly in the firmament of World politics. Indira Gandhi too ruled this country for more than a decade and took India victorious out of Pakistan-war which resulted in the historic creation of a new country, Bangladesh. And she was referred sometimes as ‘ The Only Man in Her Cabinet’

In the field of social service Women have also done some excellent jobs. They have not only served the cause of the suffering humanity but have also brought highest laurels for their countries. The name of Mother Teresa, who is the only Globally Recognized Face of Love and Compassion, cannot but be mentioned. She brought the Nobel Prize for India by her selfless services to the poor, destitute and suffering people of our country in particular and the needy and handicapped people of the world in general.

Today, we need the services of the educated women who can tour throughout the country and help in removing human sufferings. The Government is alarmed at the rapid growth of population in the rural areas in particular. Women volunteers can more easily take up the task of canvassing the advantages of family planning among the rural womenfolk. They can, more easily than men, carry on propaganda against hazards of unhygienic conditions under which the villagers live. In urban areas they can efficiently take up the task of visiting and teaching the orphans and the helpless widows in the orphanages and the widow welfare centres. They can train them in sewing, knitting, embroidery and nursing in which women by nature excel. They can also train them in the art of music and dancing.

But all this should not lead us to conclude that the women should look down upon domestic life. The main sphere of action for them who have not taken up jobs outside should be essentially a happy home which is their real kingdom and where their sweet manners and mature advices as wife, mother, sister and daughter make tremendous effects on the male members of the family. The progress of a nation depends upon the care and skill with which mothers rear up their children.

Since child's education starts even in the womb and the impressions are formed in the mind of a child while in mothers arms women have to play a role of vital importance. They have to feel and realise at every step of their life that they are builders of the fate of the nation since children grow mainly in Mothers arms. The Late Blessed Mother Teresa once asked a journalist a question which she answered herself ‘ When does a Child Becomes a real orphan, when the Father dies of when the Mother dies?’ Mother Teresa said ‘ A child becomes a real orphan when the Mother dies’

They should also discourage their husbands and sons from indulging in bribery and other corrupt practices. This they can do only when they learn the art of simple living by discarding their natural desires for ornaments and a living of pomp and show. In many cases families have been running in deficit due to the extravagance of the housewives in maintaining a high standard of living. The result is that the earning male members of the family are forced to fill up the gap in the budget by corrupt practices. Corruption has been so far the greatest impediment in way to India's progress. Minus corruption India would have been one of the most developed nations of the world.

Modern day Women are hard working, determined, independent and with a strong in born desire to succeed. No doubt they are giving a lot of their Male Counter parts sleepless nights and ‘ A Real Good Run for their Money’. Even in the Corporate World, the rise of Many Women CEO (Chief Executive), is redefining the term ‘CEO’ as ‘She E O’. Sure looks like Women are indeed on the top these days, they seem to be taking over Men in every walk of life.

We cannot but mention Carly Fiorina, the CEO of the GLOBAL HEWLETT PACKARD a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services, which is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to all. Carly Fiorina is without a shadow of a doubt a Role Model for Women and female entrepreneurs. She has dozens of men working under Her who comes running at her beck and call. Carly Fiorina is a living proof that what Man can do Women can also do, and it wont be an exaggeration to say ‘Women can do it a little more better than the Men’. And their integrity is hardly ever questioned.

Closer home in India we also have a number of Successful Women who have chalked out their own destiny and are running their own successful show as far as their professions and Jobs are concerned. To mention a few of the Indian SHE–E O, who have scripted their own success story in what once was a completely Male Domain – The ‘growing and competitive’ Corporate World.

1) Naina Lal Kidwani - VC, HSBC SECURITIES
2) Lalitha Gupte - JMD, ICICI BANK
3) Ekta Kapur - Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms
4) Kiron Mazumdar - Chairman, Biocon India
5) Amrita Patel - Chairman, NDDB
6) Renu Karnad - Executive Director HDFC
7) Malika Srinivasan - Director TAFE
8) Ranjana Kumar - CMD, Indian Bank
9) Simone Tata - Chairperson, Trent
10) Vidya Chaabria - Chairperson, Jumbo Group

And looks like ‘Their Tribe’ will only increase in the years to come.

Like Mahatma Gandhi Rightly said ‘ Women have an infinite capacity for Loving and Giving’. She is also the Mother of Man, the hands that rocked the cradle, the hands that prepared the food for the family, the hands that silently and earnestly pray. The Compassionate One who has kindness and grace in the greatest capacity.

One just cannot imagine what ‘ A World this World would have been, had there been no Woman in it’ Because Man can never and will never with the exception of a few like Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther and Martin Luther King have the Love and the genuine Compassion that Women have and are endowed with.

Just imagine and try to contemplate ‘A World of Only Men’. It will no doubt be a more Bloodier and Dirtier World than the one we have now. It will be, needless to say ‘A World - A State of Complete Anarchy and Chaos, Over-Flowing Sinks and a Burnt Toast’.

One amazing thing about the Women folks is their ability to balance a number of roles at the same time and still regain their sanity. We see many Working Women donning the many roles of A Mother, A Wife and A Housekeeper. One applaud able quality about the Women is their ‘Steely Resolve’ in times of adversity, and their ability to placed their feet firmly on the ground when the chips are down.

But what is a Man without a Woman? – No doubt, a very incomplete Whole. Like mentioned earlier, Woman and Man are incomplete without each other. It is only with the Woman by his side that A Man becomes what God intended Him to be. Like a Button and a Button Hole, they locked together to promote Family Solidarity. After all God created Man and Woman in His likeness, and in His Own Image. But He created them differently so that they could supplement and meet each other needs!

With a Woman the Man becomes a One Complete Whole.

So Gentlemen, Misters, Senors ET Monsieur, If You want your Mrs., Senoritas ET Mademoiselle to treat you like a KING, then you should first treat HER Like A Queen. And if you do that, She will no doubt treat YOU like A KING of A Vast Empire on which the Sun will never ever sets.

Like Vince Gill the famous country singer rightly sang:-

No there's nothing' like a woman
When you're all alone
No there's nothing' like a woman
To make a man come home
She's always there to understand
The little boy inside of the man
No there's nothing' like a woman
Nothing' at all
In the end, I would just like to say:-
Woman thy name is indeed sacrifice
But they sacrifices are never in vain
For what is a Man without Thee?
For what is this life without thy smile?
And what is this world without thy touch?

Man and Woman are indeed created differently by the Creator, but both of them are important for His Purpose and His Plan. Though different they may be, they are both a reflection of His Image, and both are important in His Scheme of things. For A Man is never complete without a Woman and Vice Versa.

Viva La Difference!


Josangkim Pudaite is a Senior Lecturer in History at Churachanpur Government College.
She writes for the first time for e-pao.net.
This article is her ode to 'Womanhood' and to commemorate Mothers' Day - 09th May 2004. she can be contacted at kimpudaite@yahoo.co.in

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