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Patriarchy still rules over Kerala: Brinda Karat

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Supporting a cause: CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat being welcomed to the DYFI State women’s convention in Thrissur on Saturday.
Supporting a cause: CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat being welcomed to the DYFI State women’s convention in Thrissur on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

State women’s convention of DYFI on in Thrissur

Thrissur: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has said that patriarchy continues to prevail in Kerala society despite its achievements in improving the status of women.

She was addressing a State women’s convention of the Democratic Youth Federation of India. “The status of women in Kerala is better than in other States. Yet, the truth is that patriarchal practices still control life in many parts of Kerala. There are reports of ostentatious marriages and dowry. Issues such as increasing alcoholism and its impact on the family cannot be ignored,” she said.

The young Indian woman, she observed, was caught between globalised culture and traditional concepts. “On the one hand, globalised culture seeks to promote commodification of the woman’s body, her ideas and relationships with the opposite sex. On the other, the so-called traditional culture expects women to slavishly accept patriarchal practices. Young women should challenge stereotyped understanding of women. They should also know that an individual cannot remain isolated and pursue his or her own dreams, ignoring society’s collective interests and growth,” she said.

She criticised Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit’s reported remark about the death of journalist Soumya Viswanathan. “The statement that ‘one should not be adventurous’ is callous and insensitive. It remains distant from everyday realities in the lives of working women. If this can happen in New Delhi, how safe is the rest of the country? Employers should ensure the safety of women working late hours,” Ms. Karat said.

She called upon women DYFI activists to work hard to be leaders. “However progressive your men leaders are, you should assert yourself to be seen and heard. The situation is that women have to work harder than men to achieve this. The goal of the movement is not having men and women compete against each other. On the contrary, men and women should join hands to fight retrograde practices,” she told the activists.

Mayor R. Bindu, P.R. Rajan, MP, DYFI national president P. Sreeramakrishnan, DYFI State president M.B. Rajesh, and DYFI State secretary T.V. Rajesh also spoke.

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