We have a long, long way to go: TV actors on empowering women in India

Mumbai: One of the most never-ending debate topics of all time is ‘Women Empowerment’. Have women of India truly been empowered? Have women of urban as well as rural India have achieved empowerment? Time and again, articles, essays and editorials have been written about this issue. And needless to say, many more articles are yet to be written about women empowerment in the coming years.

With Women’s Day coming up, our telly actors talk about what women empowerment means to them and how we can achieve it. Read on-

Sehban Azim – When we look at the kind of men we have in India, across the country, and the kind of education which we need in this country to bring equality, it seems like we have a long way to go…or maybe it’s a target that is impossible to achieve. I don’t see any progress happening in this area. On the ground level, I don’t see any empowerment. Even if anything is happening, it is happening in metro cities.

Randeep Rai – Women empowerment is being worked upon. Men are slowly becoming more understanding and practical in metros. But in small towns and villages, the scene is otherwise. It will take a century for men and women to become equal in every part of the country. We need to respect women; they make the world go round.

Arjun Bijlani – Men and women are at par in many ways, be it at work or home. Today’s men are surely more accommodating compared to before. Indian society and thinking has become better. Freedom means different things to different people. Women are taking initiative and so are men. But overnight everything can’t be changed.

Tarun Khanna – Women need to understand their own power. If they say no, then nobody will exploit them. Parents need to educate girls and boys both. Treating them equal is very important. In metros, the movement towards women empowerment is still there, but in rural areas change is quite slow.

Bhakhtyaar Irani – Women in my house have all the freedom in the world. But in this country? I don’t think they will ever get their due rights. Men walk on the road…why don’t we tease them? Women pass by, and we start eve teasing. It starts with our upbringing at home. Rape is an offence, and nothing will change that. Why do human rights come into play then when it is time to kill the bastards? As we saw in the film Nayak, make me the president or chief minister for one day, and I will right these wrongs. Firstly, all criminals are to be killed. Rape victims, chop chop… murderers, kill them. We will have so much space in our prisons.

Aadesh Chaudhary – There is comparatively more freedom for women now. It is a subjective thing and varies from home to home. There is surely lot of scope for improvement. A revolution doesn’t happen in an instant. It’s up to us whether we want to see a glass as half full or half empty. It’s all about perception. Men and women are equally progressive given the opportunity and environment.

Jasmin Bhasin – Women in metros are said to be at par with men, but inequality still exists. No matter how progressive we tend to be, it is men dominated society that we live in, directly or indirectly. Progress is there but still we have a long way to go. May be another 50 years.

Kajol Shrivastava – Women empowerment will take time as India is a country of different people. There are people who are well educated and still have a sexist approach. Women are never considered to be at par with men, as they don’t see this done in their own families. I feel all this will be eradicated once India becomes educated. But even today in rural areas and remote parts of India, women are not allowed to study. We are living in metro cities today so we may or may not realise it. Also, education is only not enough as people need to change and accept the fact that women are equally competitive and deserving. With a country like India, it might take time but with the present situations, we are definitely moving ahead.

Gavie Chahal – The fundamental structure of society is built on dominance of men. Women were hardly even recognised to be in the front row. Indian culture system is based on men at front and women at the back. From the birth of a girl, to becoming a wife, our entire structure is designed in men’s favour. But now women are trying to come in front and prove that they are equal to men. But a lot needs to change.

Pooja Sharma – As a woman, I don’t feel the need to be on par with men. I am only interested in bringing my highest potential to the forefront. I believe in celebrating my womanhood every day and for that, I don’t need anyone’s permission or approval because I am the master of my own destiny. Male and female are the creation of nature and both need to be celebrated and neither is below the other. As in regards to freedom, nobody can give it to you as it’s an attribute of the heart that one cultivates from within.

Sourabh Raaj Jain – I personally feel it’s not about either of the sexes as anyone who is determined to be empowered and works towards its goal and ambition, breaks away all its limitations. Yes, in older times the number of male achievers was more than female. Even during those times, we have examples where women have proved their mettle in various fields. Domination of one sex on another is relevant even now in some backward minds. But now finally times are changing, where all one needs is a will to win.