There is no denying the fact that women in Bihar have made considerable progress in the past few years. However, they still have to struggle against many handicaps and social evils in a male-dominated society.
Women were much more secure and content before the current Nitish-Lalu coalition government came to power. The JD(U)-RJD government has made many significant changes in the state, like prohibition, which have impressed women but issues like poor security continue to haunt them.
Women feel powerless and frightened while walking on unsafe streets at night. The increasing crime rate has made life miserable for them. According to N Mishra, president of the women’s auto union in Patna, around four or five women auto drivers resigned recently saying they were ‘afraid to work at night’.
The condition of women in rural Bihar is even worse. They have to feed their families, work in the fields and yet they end up becoming victims of domestic violence.
“Yes, I now try to buy all the groceries and vegetables for my home before 7pm,” said homemaker Reena Kumari.
Businesswoman Anita Jha believes women’s empowerment is the only thing lacking in Bihar today. “Women are given rights and responsibilities but that’s not everything a government must do. It’s like they have given a child a complex machine but haven’t told him or her how to operate it,” she said.
College student Ayesha Sinha added, “Bihar is a state where no one really cares about the needs and requirements of women. People are self-centric and do not think of another part of their own society.”