Among the most intensely discussed issues of today is the upliftment of women. The issue has attracted attention from all walks of life, creating both controversies and emotional response. The basic problem facing this is the absence of an exact solution. Due to cultural variations in different parts of the world, each society requires a unique treatment of uplifting its womenfolk.

From time immemorial, women have been subdued in one form or other by the society dominated by men. The Roman law, which was model for many modern European nations, gave woman no right in property. ‘In the year 586 of the Christian era, a conference was called in Europe to decide whether a woman possessed a soul or not. The conference, however, decided in a too liberal spirit that woman was a portion of humanity and as such possessed a soul. But her sole duty was to serve man’.

In accordance with the victory of materialism, woman of the present is also utilized by the male-dominated world as an object of material gains only. As a person, she has not received the attention she deserves.

To add to this problem, the modern media has contributed to her identity crisis. She is forced to take up the profession as dictated by the society. In the fight for equality, she has become close to man in independence with respect to income and living. But psychologically, she is still ruled by the dictates of a patriarchal world.

Thus the issue of upliftment of women has taken serious turns, some of which that were never expected even by the feminist movement. The important question is whether the upliftment of women should be done regardless of her psycho-physiological nature or without any such considerations.

Some countries provide special reservations to women in job opportunities. They also enjoy a certain provision in political institutions of the country. But despite such concessions, ladies produce little results. They are not actively involved in the decision making process, whether at home or office.

Although women have maintained a better career track record in the West, very few top companies have female executives. This indirectly exposes the real nature of modern civilization. And in spite of the hue and cry about women’s rights, the harassment at workplaces is on the rise.

Therefore upliftment should not be a mere legislative exercise. It is in fact to teach ‘Her’ the real value of her own self as an individual. She herself has to discover her own position and honor. From the land of whims and fancies, she has to migrate to the land of action and spiritual awakening. Her upliftment lies inside her, not in the hands of governments and media. She should rise above the status of a mere ‘object of desire’ to a respected and honored individual. Material upliftment alone is not sufficient for this. A purified heart also plays a crucial role.

This article was written on Aug 19 2001.