[Answered] “Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu?

Status of women in post-independent India has continuously changed with changing socio-economic and political realities. This change has been a result of external agents and catalysts like government initiatives and from within with the help of women-led movements.  

Women like Kalpana Chawla, Sindhutai Sapkal and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw represent diverse fields of social work and professional life where women have left their mark. But issues like Sabrimala controversy or Triple Talaq highlight that patriarchal barrier to women empowerment remain deeply entrenched in society. 

Education and government schemes for women empowerment are not sufficient. A different set of interventions are needed such as: 

  1. Urbanization: Urban milieu breaks past rigid social structures with relative ease. For example, in domestic roles, social freedom etc.  
  2. Public Safety: It promotes greater participation of a greater number of women in economy and public life. It addresses personal anxieties and family barriers. Concepts like 24×7 cities can combine urbanization and needs of public safety. 
  3. Family Values: Gender equality needs to start within homes, in attitudes of parents, spouse and siblings. 
  4. An Indian equivalent of Athena SWAN charter is needed to promote women participation in STEM. 
  5. The cause of gender equality at work will be helped by balancing maternity leaves with paternity leaves. 
  6. Administrative reforms need to factor in gender inclusion especially in police. It can help de-emphasize the culture of violence in public life. Popular culture of cinema, music can play role in changing social attitudes such as movies like Secret Superstar or Dangal. 

Education and empowerment schemes are necessary to support feminist movement, but issues hindering gender equality in India require more fundamental and practical approach.  

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