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On Women's Day: The triumph of non-violence rests on women's strength

By Satya Narayan Sahu | PUBLISHED: 08, Mar 2017, 18:57 pm IST | UPDATED: 09, Mar 2017, 18:42 pm IST

On Women's Day: The triumph of non-violence rests on women's strength "Future belongs to women" is the title of a book written in French language and published in 1997. It is well said that most of the wars and conflicts have occurred due to the predominance of masculine attributes of civilisation. Even consumption of alcohol gets reduced when women are there in determining positions.

Therefore, it is underlined that feminine attributes need to be restored to balance the masculine civilisation. The triumph of non-violence rests on women's strength.

The rising consciousness across the planet Earth for gender equality and women's empowerment is indicative of the slow but steady shift to the cause of rights of women which have been described as human rights.

Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard University in his book "Better Angels of Nature : Why Violence has Declined" states that a critical mass of women and not just one woman Prime Minister or woman President or woman Leader , would make the world more peaceful and less aggressive. And that critical mass is understood to be 33 percent.

Therefore, the UN has recommended that there should be 33 percent reservation of seats for women in all spheres. In India's freedom struggle unprecedented participation of women and that too village and unlettered women in very large numbers are attributed to non-violent method adopted by Mahatma Gandhi. Had there been employment of violent method only able bodied and well trained men could have participated in freedom struggle.

India's freedom struggle with such large scale participation of women became the first such struggle in history of humanity. It is unfortunate that women in independent India could not get their due. Their representation in the Parliament and Assemblies is hardly 12 percent in comparison to 22 percent at the global level.

It was Utkal Gaurab Madhusudan Das of Odisha who fought for the rights of women law graduates of India to enter legal profession in 1923. And he succeeded in his effort. Before 1923 only men law graduates were allowed to enter legal profession as per prevailing Legal Practitioner's Act.

We need to salute those people who created such conditions for women to spearhead their own movement for reorganising patriarchal order to ensure equality and equal opportunity for women. Happy Women's Day.

# The author Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by the author are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.