Purpose of Declaration
There is no denying the fact that women are the worst victims of superstition in our country. At the same time they are the main agents who propagate superstitions most. The whole society should acknowledge and understand this fact, so that, ways can be found to eliminate this mental slavery of women. ANS is bringing out and circulating this draft declaration to facilitate developing a constructive programme of eradication of superstition.
Points to Ponder
The superstitions harboured by women are much too deep-rooted. The reasons are many. They have to face many more difficulties and obstructions, defeats, despair and calamities than the men. Consequently the helplessness that arises out of these is much more pronounced in women than in men. No wonder they become more superstitious.
The second reason is our male dominated society. A good husband and a son is the sole achievement that a woman can aspire to in life. Almost all the religions in the world relegate woman to a secondary status, denying all knowledge and learning to her for thousands of years. These religious teachings are so deep rooted that women have now come to believe that all this is but natural and they tend to find support and help in this very disparity and discrimination engendered by religion between the genders. Sheembraces all outmoded traditions, customs, and rituals with practically no change even to
this day. Lack of education lack of jobs or any means of earning, becoming victim to sexual atrocities, less remuneration for the same amount and kind of work, denial of property rights and being looked at as objects of pleasure in the adds, push her into superstition and accepting her lot without protest.
Guidelines to bring about necessary changes
1. Educate women. Not only should women be taught the three ‘R’s but they should be educated to think on their own.
2.The habit of understanding the cause-effect relation behind all happenings should be inculcated in her so that she would be able to examine every custom, tradition and ritual and decide on her own what she wants to accept or reject and carry out her decision without fear.
3. In order to remove all gender disparities it is essential that women stop considering themselves lesser beings and instead make all efforts to develop their intelligence and other potentials.
4.There should not be any discrimination in the treatment of boys and girls in the home. This will avoid development of egoism in the boys and inferiority in the girls.
5.Women are considered polluted and not allowed to participate in certain religious ceremonies. Such practices should be condemned and stopped forthwith.
6.Women should have their own independent identities and not considered as somebody’s wife or daughter or some such relation.
7.Women ought to pay as much attention to their own health as they pay to the health of their husbands, children and other members of their family. Proper nutrition, cleanliness, timely inoculation and vaccination, necessary medicines and enough rest are important for the whole family including the women.
8. Women alone should have the right to decide how many children they should have considering their physical and mental health as well as financial ability to support the offspring. She should be able to resist all external pressures.
9.Instead of succumbing to calamities women should face them squarely and not resort to any false hopes offered by Buvas and god men.
10. All of us should condemn the spread of superstition and abuse of women’s image that is carried on by the media- newspapers, television, films, etc. One must remember that it is not impossible to do this even individually
11.It is important that scientific outlook is inculcated in the children to develop their rationality and constructive attitudes, which will help them form a fearless and courageous society devoid of any exploitation.