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The extent of violence against women around the world today is shameful, and shows little sign of abating. While, as a global community, it is possible to pass laws to criminalise the violence, law alone will not ask men to respect the opposite gender. How do we make it about a sense of responsibility?

The RSA welcomes this guest blog by Aakash Khanna, a 19-year old man living in Uttar Pradesh, India, and his take on how men – particularly in his native country – need to rethink how they view and treat women.

One of my favourite quotes states that ‘stronger people don’t put others down; they lift them up.’ According to biology, men have stronger builds than women. Even though we live in the 21st century, the first two sentences of this paragraph seem to contradict each other. The strength of men has been stamped with a significant question mark.

The journey of a woman at any stage of her life can be either extremely beautiful or extremely disastrous, and a great deal of this depends on what kind of men are around her. By this I don’t mean that women are not strong. In fact, women are more courageous and strength-providing creatures than men could ever be. Our Earth has been a male dominated society for centuries. This means men have most of the power. But as they say ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, so the question that has been stamped on the strength and power of men is:  are we taking the responsibility and doing enough to make women feel respected, ensuring that they have a fulfilling life?

From hormonal changes to giving birth to a child, the life of a woman has a lot of struggles. Perhaps God gave the responsibility to give birth to a child to women because they are more brave and responsible than men would ever be. Yet, they don’t get the respect they so much deserve.

I believe that a society where its women do not feel secure and respected is not worth calling a society. Crimes like rape, domestic violence and trafficking have increased over time and the word respect is ebbing. Trafficking of women has raised a big concern and has destroyed many lives. I live in a country where, according to statistical data, a rape happens every 20 minutes. Men have misused their dominance and power and responsibility has not been taken.

But what makes these men act like this? What makes them think that they have the right to do the evil things to women? Well, I think it is their perception that makes them commit these heinous crimes. They tend to look at things in every negative manner possible and because of their way of thinking and perception, they haunt the women around them and pierce their lives with fear. I believe that it all depends on perception. First we build our perception and then our perception builds us. The kind of perception we create in our minds, the same kind of person we end up being.

I believe that if wrong perception is the disease, then building the right perception is the cure. Different creative ways should be applied to spread awareness on this sensitive issue and teach the male population to respect women. Some creative ways are:

1.     Making documentaries:

Documentaries should be made regarding this issue. Documentaries should show the mindset of women before and after the crime and how haunting it is for them to face such a wicked experience. Also, these documentaries should show celebrities who are followed world-wide, with moral messages about women and the respect they deserve.

2.     Teaching kids the importance:

Boys from an early age should be taught the importance of respecting the opposite gender. The documentaries should be shown to them in school so that they learn about the issue and gain moral values from an early age. Creatively, these documentaries should be animated and should include the most lovable cartoon characters together with message on the issue.

3.     Santa Claus:

Though I am not a Christian, I love Santa. I love the concept of Santa Claus all together. I believe that Santa, who is loved by the kids worldwide, should also visit schools when the Christmas is near and should teach the small boys to walk with the girls rather than walking ahead of them.

Many campaigns have been started by women for women. However, I truly believe that men should initiate campaigns for ensuring that they play their role in the society and make every woman they know feel respected and cared.

Everyone should know that if it wasn’t for women, then we all would have never been born.

A woman sacrifices a lot of things in her life. Yet, somehow she finds happiness in those things. I hope we, as men, find happiness in giving women the love and respect they deserve.

Aakash Khanna


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