Women in Kashmir enjoy less social freedom: Study

SRINAGAR: The less social freedom that women in Kashmir have has resulted in their lesser empowerment, according to a study.
The study titled “Study of Women Empowerment in Kashmir In Relation To Social Freedom” has been conducted by Kamalpreet Kaur, an Assistant Professor in the Education Department of Lovely University, Phagwara, Punjab.
To find out the difference between women empowerment and social freedom of women in Kashmir, the study was conducted on 120 women teachers and students in two southern districts—Shopian and Kulgam.
The survey revealed that women empowerment and women social freedom in Kashmir are not significantly related to each other. “The reason may be the threading and suppressed culture of Kashmir in which the women who are enjoying social freedom do not feel empowered due to their snubbed voices at some levels,” says the study.
It was also found that there exists a negative relationship in women empowerment and social freedom of women. In other words, women in Kashmir enjoy less social freedom and empowerment. “The reason being that in Kashmir there are some religious restrictions and social bondages which do not allow women to get maximum social freedom,” says the study.
It says that the culture in Kashmir “is so constructed that women are not able to think about their freedom.” It also states that the social status of women was “slightly low” among the male members of the society. “Another reason is that wives are regarded as slaves of their husbands and are not allowed to live their lives according to their own wishes. Gender discrimination is regarded as a divine giving.”
Interestingly, the study also states that Hindu women are believed to enjoy fewer restrictions. However, both societies, Hindu and Muslims, need to develop greater trust bases and allow them more responsibilities and freedom outside home, the study adds.