The question of a woman and the attitude of society towards her is a question that has long existed among various communities and civilizations. Women always make up half the world’s population. The continuation of life in the world depends on women as much as it depends on men. On the shoulders of women, in the natural order, lie the greatest works of the universe, such as procreation and raising children, are in hands of women. A woman –is a creature with abilities, feelings, thoughts and imagination, and she should be able to express them freely. Consequently, the issue of women is an important issue and has long existed in communities, among thinkers, In ethics and in various habits of people. Among these thinkers there is Arnold Schwarzenegger, he said: “In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits”. Empowerment has the potential to be defined as a multidimensional social process that can people gain control of their own lives. Empowering ladies means that the ability of ladies to make strategic choices where they were previously denied. Accordingly, empowerment is considered central to the process of preserving ladies’ superiority at the personal, family, community, and also wider levels. This incorporates the impact of improving the status of women through literacy, education, learning, and awareness-raising. Thus, the empowerment of ladies is to allow and equip ladies to create relevant conclusions on various tasks in the country. The need for empowerment of women appeared due to discrimination on the basis of gender symptoms and the predominance of men in Indian society since ancient years. Ladies are suppressed by members of their own families and society for almost all reasons. They are subjected to almost all forms of violence and discriminatory practices by men and the members of the family and society in India and other countries. But later, these persistent ones like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru advocated for the rights of women and, as a result of their concentrated efforts, aimed at increasing the status of women in public financial and political life in Indian society. But the women in India have achieved significant sensations for seven decades of independence, the war is only half won. They still have to deal with almost all the social vices that oppress them and exacerbate their status. Women are like subalterns still in the shadow.
Oppression –in general, the concept is abstract and is not determined by matter, but mental weakness and the dissonance of the existence of society . This phenomenon is characteristic of a society that does not understand or misinterprets the values and goals of its life path. Who is the subaltern? The subaltern according to the dictionary, is a person occupying a subordinate place, first a smaller officer in the English army. The subalterns, who do not speak, to learn how to own weapons, to have weapons, such subalterns would only deserve to be treated like slaves. The deep meaning of this term has been given by the Indian feminist, professor at Columbia University Gayatri Chakrovarti Spivak. Can the subalterns speak? is the essay of Spivak which answers the question are able those who are at the bottom of the power hierarchy, those whose voice is in pro the space of political interaction is the least recognizable, on independent statements? Do structures exist communications allow such statements to be heard? Despite the fact that Spivak’s questioning is largely rhetorical, the controversy surrounding her posed problem does not lose intensity within the framework of political and cultural studies. The merit of Gayatri Chakrovarti Spivak is to implement this research program from a gender perspective. In other words, subalterns are according to the Spivak, heterogeneous. It means that the subalterns can be poor people or those who do not have citizenship, the unemployed class, uneducated people, and including women.
Well, then women are also in subaltern’s class, which suffer from external factors, like male dominance, discrimination against women. The subalterns according to the Spivak are still in the shadow: “…if in the context of colonial production, the subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the subaltern as female is even more deeply in the shadow …”( Spivak Gayatri,28). For example in modern society in more countries have rights that affirm the equal rights of women and men, but in fact, the role of women in the labor market and even religion is weak. The degree of participation in the labor market in East Asia among women is lower than that of men, and this difference not increasing. In Southeast Asia, female participation is still lower than among men, and where it is relatively higher after the Asian Financial crisis in the late 1990s the years that spanned Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, gender inequality has increased. Another example of male dominance from ancient work written by Aristophanes Lysistrata:“ …all alone being proper women, we used to suffer in silence no matter what you men did, because you wouldn’t let us make a sound. But weren’t exactly all we could ask for. No, we knew only too well what you were up to, and too many times we’d hear in our homes about a bad decision you’d made on some great issue of state . Then, masking the pain in our hearts, we’d put on a smile and ask you, “How did the assembly go today? Any decision about a rider to the peace treaty?” And my husband would say “What’s shat to you? Shut up!”And I’d shut up. It perfectly proves the rights of women in the family, and in public affairs, their husbands say silent, women just listen to them. Despite the fact that this work is very old, but it clearly coincides with the modern situation of women. For instance in Kyrgyzstan owe the eve the new year,4 women died from domestic violence within one month. And the number of women victims of domestic violence is increasing every year. Women are victims of trafficking often suffer from racial discrimination, which is also considered an external factor, they are doubly oppressed and vulnerable, and women from certain racial and ethnic groups may be especially vulnerable to trafficking or become targets of traffickers. Refugee women and migrants are also more vulnerable to violence, they suffer from the absence of their representative bodies and from the restrictions placed on their freedom of movement. Women who are discriminated against on the basis of gender and race are often victims of violence . Hearing from the news, seeing with own eyes how females suffer, how can say that females are not in the shadow?
Another big and more problematic reason why women are still in darkness is women themselves or internal factors. Many of them, because of their lack of education, or because of their mentality, maybe because of religion, do not even know that they are subalterns. Imagine, Mowgli, which brought animals far from civilization. It all starts with the fact that the wolves save the baby that they found in the jungle. The boy grew up, with them gaining their experience of survival in the jungle. There were laws that were enforceable. When Mowgli got to people, he did not understand how to cheat or obey other people like him. Same thing with the women. If women were born in a poor society, and always felt discrimination, always felt obeyed someone, how did know how it was to be heard, what does it mean. They probably do not even know that they feel discriminated against, that they really suffer like the Mowgli did not notice that he got to another world being different. Take as an example Aristophanes’ Lysistrata:
Lysistrata: Hey you! What’s your hurry?
First Wife: I want to go home. I’ve got some Milesian wool in the house, and the moths are chomping it all up.
Lysistrata: Moths! Get back inside.
Third wife: I’m about to deliver a child!
Lysistrata: But you weren’t pregnant yesterday.
Third wife: But today I am. Please, Lysistrata, send me home to the midwife, and right away! (Aristophanes69)
These lines clearly show that women without Lysistrata could not achieve their goal, would they even know that they are suffering, and they should stop the war. But the work of Aristophanes is just a fantastic fairy tale, and today there is no such heroine as a Lysistrata who explains the situation to everyone, to fight all difficulties and stop the war. Even if such a person appears how can he help the oppressed if even he does not know what it feels like to be subaltern, how he will help without knowing what exactly the subalterns want, what exactly they need. Women themselves subordinates, like Mowgli, do not know that they live in a society where they are feeling discrimination, where these women make up the class of subordinates. Another example of an internal factor is bride theft in Kyrgyzstan. For other nations, stealing brides is savagery against women, and for example in Kyrgyzstan it is normal, and women treat this normally, thinking it should be so. And because of this, the bride theft continues inside the country.
The main conclusions are that, although the world has changed and almost all countries have rights that affirm the rights of women, females still suffer from various problems. For instance, gender discrimination, domestic violence, lack of education, to be a victim in society. Anything has not changed strictly since Lysistrata, and there is evidence that they are or remain in the shadows through the customs and traditions of many ethnic groups, as an example of Kyrgyz. The most pitiful thing is that many women, without noticing, remain in the subaltern’s class.
- Spivak, Gayatri. ‘Can the subalterns speak’? In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, edited by Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg, 24-28, London: Macmillan, 1988.
- Aristophanes. Three plays by Aristophanes: Staging women. Translated by Jeffrey Henderson. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2010.