Organizations have lined up variety of themes
to celebrate the day. Many of them have the same underlying message - women are
equal to men; give them their rightful
place in society!
Women empowerment, a commonly used word
today, finds very little meaning in our everyday lives. In the decision-making
political spheres, we find women as a token representation. The problem of
gender inequality is noticed not only in remote places but even among the elite
and business class. Women are, more often than not, paid less for the same work
as men. The top positions in companies are usually occupied by men, with very
few women making it to boardrooms.
One of the important aspects that's the focus
on women's day is safety. There is no dearth of stories about violence against
women and girls, especially sexual
, in media outlets. It is appalling that girls as young as
three or four years of age are being sexually violated. Women often face sexual
harassment at work and many are attacked at home too.
Survivors of sex crime suffer from
physiological and psychological problems. They suffer
from pelvic pain due to severe damage to the urethra, vagina and anus, gynecologic
problems such as dysmenorrhea
(severe pain or cramps in the
lower abdomen during menstruation), menorrhagia (abnormally heavy or prolonged
bleeding during menstruation), and also develop irritable bowel syndrome,
gastrointestinal, sexual and reproductive health problems, eating disorders
like bulimia, and in some cases, contract sexually transmitted diseases
including HIV/AIDS. Many have to deal with unwanted pregnancy, which poses yet
another problem: they face ethical and moral dilemma concerning termination of
experience both short and long-term psychological effects of rape. One of the
most common is self-blame. Many blame themselves as being the instigators of
rape. They also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) - intrusive
thoughts and distressing recollections of the violence. A study titled, Rape:
Legal issues in mental health perspective,
conducted by the Indian Journal
of Psychiatry in 2013, revealed that childhood and adulthood survivors of rape
are more likely to attempt or commit suicide due to PTSD. School children are
often victims of sexual abuse and rape. The study showed that around 6% of rape
(child) survivors tried to commit suicide. Psychological harm is greater if the
rapist is a relative. In the case of parental incest, psychological damage is
long-term with extreme forms of childhood trauma.
include nightmares and sleep disorders
, depression and anxiety
disorders, borderline personality disorder, sexualized behavior, anti-social
behavior, anger, feelings of powerlessness - victims feel the rapist robbed
them of control over their bodies and an utter lack of self-worth, etc.
Notwithstanding the gruesome nature of sexual assault, in many cases, survivors undergo a harrowing journey of healing and moving on. When the world celebrates Women's Day, perhaps it's prudent to give ourselves a reminder that words like respect, equality and support for women begin at home.