Que :How can women be empowered?
Mayaa SH : Women must be empowered to create an environment for the all round development of women through a positive economic and social society so that they are able to realize their full potential.The practice and in fact the realization of human and fundamental freedom by all women (on the basis of equality with men in all spheres – political, economic, social, cultural and civil.)must be instilled in the mindset of many as being instrumental in value education. Participation of women in the social, political and economic life of the nation and equal access to decision making must be unequivocally nurtured as the basis of laying a strong foundation for any economy. Equal access of women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equality, occupational health and safety, social security and government offices etc.are some of the ways that can be looked at empowering women in the mainstream.
Ques : How can the objectives of empowering women be attained in its true sense?
Mayaa SH : Equal participation of women in decision-making and power-sharing, including decision-making in the political process at all levels, to ensure to achieve the goals of empowerment. Policy-making bodies at every level, including legislative, governmental, judicial, corporate, constitutional bodies and advisory commissions, committees, boards, trusts, etc.All measures to be taken to guarantee equal access and full participation of women. Affirmative action like reservation/quota, including reservation/quota in higher legislative bodies also, wherever necessary, will be considered on a time bound basis. Women friendly personal policies will must be effectively formulated to encourage consistent participation of women in the development process.
Que: What according to you are the mental health issues that many women face today?
Mayaa SH :The most common complaints found in women suffering from anxiety or anything mentally being stressful are abdominal pain, nausea, increased heart rate, frequent fainting, lack of concentration, feeling nervous/tense, sleep problems, etc. Perinatal depression affects the mental health of women after or during pregnancy.
Gender is an important determinant of mental health and strain on physical and mental strength .The patterns of psychological distress and mental stressamong women differ from the patterns seen among men.The low attendance in the hospital setting is partly explained by the lack of availability of resources for women. Nearly two-thirds of married women in India are victims of domestic violence. Concerted efforts at the social, political, economic and legal levels can make a difference in the lives of Indian women and contribute to improving the mental health of these women.
Que : How in your view has the job classification defined the role of women in society?
Mayaa SH : On an average women are usually involved in domestic work with an emphasis on child care. For women aligned to domestic households with tensions related to monetary well being , economic necessity compels them to seek employment outside the home. There are occupations that are available to them as average opportunities to sustain their livelihood ; however, such jobs are at less than the wages available to men leading to exploitation. Gradually, the availability of employment increased
to more respectable office jobs that demand more education. Thus, although a large section of women from all socio-economic classes are employed outside the home; it neither frees them from their domestic duties nor does it lead to a significant change in their social status. For centuries, the differences between men and women have been socially classified as a set pattern. The definition has been further distorted through a lens of sexism, which is perpetuated through the supremacy and dominance of men over women. It underestimates the role of a woman in the complexion of human existence.It has undermined the role of a woman in the complexion of human existence.
Que : Why must beauty products that lay emphasis on fairness and skin tone must be discouraged?
Mayaa SH : Creams claiming fairness are a limitation and may not change the skin color permanently, but can also damage the skin with prolonged use if we do not use the right product as a part of wellness and grooming regime. Many women idealise the notion of being perfect by the use whitening creams to hide facial marks and enhance beauty as being idolised as fair being the superior.
The color of our skin is determined by melanin and the fairness creams reduce that melanin. Practically one must endeavour to keep one’s skin healthy and glowing. This can be adopted with maintaining a balanced diet and also consuming a lot of water for hydration. No cream can make one fair forever, because the pigments present in the skin of the face can be more or less but their base cannot change. Many girls or bride to be face the societal pressure for looking for being Perfect 24×7 is a great ideology but not at the expense of being obsessed about it and at the cost of health hazards that get attached to it in the longer run. God had made all women beautiful for who they are, not what they must become as per the lens of being scrutinised for perfection all the time. Being perfect is also by being bold about being imperfect in the most innocent and selfless ways in life. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Que : What are the qualities of a strong Women?
Mayaa SH : Those women who do not give up on life even when trouble seeps in are strong and determined in life. Those women may someday break the marriage or break up, even if someone passes away in the family, do not panic about any situation, they are emotionally very mature to tackle any situation in life as they evolve with time to perceive situations intelligently with a logical mindset. Women who have the ability to change conservative thinking of the society with the beauty to aspire to fulfil their dreams are really strong minded women. Many women share their lives, their homes. But today’s strong woman looks at her life from her own point of view. A strong woman is the one who knows how to express her feelings. A woman who has the ability to express her feelings without any burden in her heart and the one who can speak openly it is a determined person. The one who can openly tell both her wishes and reluctance. If a woman learns to speak for her own wishes, she will always be happy and her family will also be happy. The woman who does not take the pressure of showing herself perfect 24×7 is an embodiment of being strong and determined.
Que : What is your definition of Feminism?
Mayaa SH : Feminism is not about misandry, it is about letting go of certain patriachial norms that are no longer serving the society in its true sense. Feminism is about gender equality and a doctrine to uplift women in their own eyes first by instilling the drivers of self belief and confidence.
-© Mayaa SH