It was not a boy: Gender Inequality in India

Kapil Raj - Endurer - Realistespresso

It was not a boy

From centuries & decades, it has been a men’s world. History is full of men and even in today’s civilized world if a woman makes a small achievement, it becomes the headline for weeks. Yet I feel the world is changing in various aspects of which I am aware of. Our laws, constitution, working policies are being designed & implemented which benefits women. Workplaces and security give never before attention to women security. One complaint by a girl in police station against her husband would end him up in jail.
Women are getting strong enough in going to police and file complaint about rape cases and sensible parents supporting the action of their daughters against the conundrum of what society will think. After marriage, wives are becoming equally demanding as they are earning and can sustain in the world along with husbands. Every week there is a piece of news where a man had been arrested for doing some assault on women which is wrong but somehow gives an impression that system had started functioning.
But by seeing these advancements around, is change really happening the way it should? Are we able to quash gender inequality?

I got a reality check after witnessing an eye opening incidence.

I was blessed with a baby boy. Interestingly there was a tradition amongst maternity hospital workers of getting some money as a gift which would be distributed equally amongst staff. I was happy enough to shred my pocket and distribute happiness. But my happiness was not long lasting as the baby was diagnosed with breathing problem and was shifted to N.I.C.U. for immediate treatment. To my wonder, I came to know that we were charged the amount thrice compared to an adjoining couple who were blessed with a girl child. Because I was so exhausted at that time, I hardly get time to ponder over these things. But I was about to be taken aback on the day of discharge.

The hospital was renowned as the best in the city mainly due to hard working women doctor who also owned it. It had a reputation of also serving and charging humanly from people of the lower economic cadre. Both general & private wards were on the first floor. Along the staircase was the N.I.C.U where I was sitting outside the clinic. I witnessed dark skinned tall women stepping down from the staircase and walking fast through the corridor towards the reception area followed by exit along with short height lady with full face cover-up. A nurse shouted on them for running like this and on assuming something fishy she ran behind to stop them. Out of curiosity, I got up for the closed encounter as loud noises started coming from reception.

“Any hospital apart from us would not have admitted her, forget the charge. Moreover, even if they had admitted, you would have been charged ten times” receptionist was yelling at her.

“Child died, and it was not even a boy, why should we give money” the lady screamed in her local language.

“Your daughter in law would have died, but doctor saved her.”

“It was not a boy,” she insisted.

I got lost after understanding what happened. This lady denied the gratitude and fees because it was a girl child. She was a woman after all. Those media and Facebook stories along with likes on women empowerment vanished for a moment, and I glimpsed a reality. The girl child was born with undeveloped head and nose. Her daughter in law could have died if the doctor would not have operated on time and she was running away with recently operated daughter in law. She had a reason for not paying fees because the child was not a boy!

With traditions so densely rooted in minds are we able to justify gender difference? Even a male dog costs more than a female dog of same breed and age in the market. Systems are changing, time is moving but are our efforts in the right direction or do we even know the approach?

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  • Sun Maity



  • Mihika Roy

    Interesting read