At a time when our collective fight for equality of women in India is gaining gradual acquiescence albeit with frequent setbacks, out comes a video to shock us out of our insularity to the state of women in other parts of the world.
The video that we are talking about is this:
To put into words, the video features a self-styled Islamic therapist who is propounding the “right way to beat your wife”.
The video was released on the national channel of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after clearance from the Kingdom’s government.
The highlights of this video are that after forsaking your wives in bed, women need to be disciplined and some women provoke their men to beat them. The video suggests that wives should be beaten with toothpicks and handkerchiefs to make them feel ashamed of themselves and get them back in line, so to speak.
Now this video has caused an uproar in most parts of the world. We can rave and rant, but on a diplomatic policy level, we have no control or clout over a kingdom that brazenly flouts human rights on the back of its oil reserves. Because the one country that can influence change continues to remain quiet.
The video was released in the United States of America through the DC based Middle East Media Research Institute but has failed to invite any comment or criticism by the government.
This is not the first time the U.S. has put blinkers on Saudi Arabia. 47 people were beheaded on January 1 st , 2016 for protesting against the dictatorial policies of Saudi’s ruling class. But not a single statement was passed by Uncle Sam who is the self-proclaimed custodian of peace and equality around the world.
So then of what use is our voice that is being raised but finds no resonance in change-makers?
We must keep on talking about this. Till it reaches and echoes in the corridors of power. We must not forget that the fight is also for women beyond borders. That the fight will be long. And hope that the fight will be taken forward by generations of women and men who are growing up with ideals of an accessible and equal world.