SUBHRADEEP SANTRA :“ This is a testament that girls, wherever they are, can be anything without limits” said the 31 year old Tanzanian woman lawyer Ms Rebeca z. Gyumi while receiving the UN Human Rights prize in 2018 at a ceremony held at New York headquarters of United Nations.
Ms Rebeca who is the founder and executive director at Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian NGO has been working in the field of women empowerment focusing strongly on girl child education.Having being surmounted by various accolades earlier this UN Human Rights prize was bestowed on her for a special cause.
She filed a petition at the Tanzanian High court calling into question the provisions of Tanzania Marriage Act, 1971 which ascertained the minimum marriageable age of a girl to be 14. Thanks to her perseverance, the court raised the minimum age to 18 creating a milestone in the history of Tanzania.
Nonetheless, Human Rights activists all over the world are keen to see if the orders of the court are implemented in spirit.Proper implementation of law in a highly populated country may well be an Eldorado except for conscious driven citizens.
Restrictions imposed on the entry of women of menstruating age at the Sabarimala temple of Kerala are yet another instance of how women in India are considered inferior. The recent rankings of Thomson Reuters foundation which depicts India to be the most dangerous country for women, bear testimony to the abysmal condition of women.
As a proud Indian we might support the views of National Commission for Women that the ranking was based on a small and not so befitting sample size.The parameters of the survey may not be statistically grounded but perceptually based. However, we cannot deny that the incidents of sexual offences are on the rise. The human development index for women in India is lower than her male counterparts.
Therefore there is a difficult path to traverse. As Ms. Rebecca Gyumi rightly says “all over the world we are seeing the rising of fundamentalism” and change is the greatest need of the hour.