We are all moving towards a more aware and sensitive society. While 2016 saw a great number of people coming up to move the gender equality batten forward, 2017 has a lot more in store. The number of feminists is growing and we are all trying to build a society neutral for all genders and not be biased towards one as has been the case for centuries now.

Starting with myself and the changes I would like to see in 2017, I would really like people to stop cribbing about reservations for women. I really think reservations in any field are only a way to attract women into those fields as we see an anomaly of gender in various fields like politics, education and government jobs etc.

As we welcome the new year, hoping to make this world a better place to live in, these young and enthusiastic feminists told us what social, economic and political changes they would like to see in the coming year:

  • I want equal education from primary classes in schools. It does not make sense to open big ‘all girls’ senior secondary schools and colleges if young girls do not know the basics. Also, extreme awareness in the rural areas about the importance of education for women – Isha Sahni, Journalist, Gurgaon
  • It will take a long time for real changes to happen. But I hope misogynistic item numbers in Bollywood movies fall out of fashion. It is about time – Nisha Chaudhary, IT Professional, Ghaziabad
  • I would like to be able to drive around at night without a male counterpart, feeling nothing but secured. And most important, I wish women could walk on streets freely without having to worry about someone giving them dirty glances – Mandwi Raghuvanshi, Journalist, Lucknow
  • I would like to see more women, including my mother, to realise that they are no less than any man. The realization that both the sexes are equal and a man can and should make his own coffee is something I would like to see. Just the realisation to start with –Vidhya Bharti, Journalist, New Delhi
  • Women in power shouldn’t be news. It should be normal now. That’s what I hope for in 2017. Like every conference or panel discussion I have attended, there are literally like two or three women amidst 50 men. And it shouldn’t be a topic of discussion that there aren’t enough women or that there was one woman in all of the panels combined throughout the two days of the conference –Aparna Chandrashekhar, Journalist, Mumbai

ALSO READ:Are “Manels” a reality? The India Story

  • I think the biggest shortcoming of this movement is that women themselves fail to understand what feminism really stands for. Fragile theories, half-baked knowledge regarding this movement hurts the intent more than anything. Often we hear women criticizing other women for standing up for equal rights followed by “Oh you are one of those feminist kinds”. Therefore, for me, the biggest change would be when women start respecting women and understand this movement to its core – Bhavna Agarwal, Journalist, Mumbai

India's Top Badass Women

  • Provide equal opportunity to women labour force. More than anyone, it is a horrifying state for women who are economically marginalised and try to sustain themselves through petty jobs. They are the most downtrodden. So I want more opportunities for them – Vaibhav Jha, Journalist, New Delhi
  • I want to see elitist feminists talking about Dalit issues and binary feminists coming out of the shells of gender. I want to see the women of this country expressing their femininity strongly, unbounded with the norms of becoming a woman/man. Also, queer sounds should be heard more, I want to hear VIBGYOR salam over red and neel – Jeevan, Journalist, Kerala
  • I would like the government and policy agencies to recognise unpaid care work by women. Household chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, etc are a part of all the unpaid care work. Around 208 million married women have been classified as non-workers, according to the recent Census data. But is household work not work even if unpaid? In 2017, we need to recognise that the sphere of reproduction contributes to the sphere of production – Devanik Saha, studies MA in Gender and Development, New Delhi
  • The change I yearn to see in 2017 is for a female in India of – any age group, any religious identity, any nationality – not frightened to take a taxi or an un-escorted vehicle at any time of the day or night without carrying an iota of fear about reaching the destination of her choice safe and sound – Madhulika R Chauhan, Author, currently lives in China
  • I would want to see new mentor-ship programs for politically inclined young women as there aren’t any at the moment. I mean which young political aspirant wouldn’t want to be guided by a Sushma Swaraj, Mamta Banerjee or Mayawati; or be able to receive an on-the-job understanding of the (more important) nuances of political ethics, behaviour and communication? Keeping in view our growing youth population and present parliamentary representation, I think it is high time we addressed this issue on priority. – Sakshi Singh Sirari, Project Officer at Mantra Foundation, Lucknow

ALSO WATCH: India Has More Women In Tech Than US, Says Aruna Sundararajan

  • If a guy can have his drinking, clothing and lifestyle preferences, so can a girl. The trend might seem to change in Delhi but what about rest of the India? Feminism in my eyes is not just women’s safety; it’s their basic rights which are denied to them since young age – Gurvinder Kaur, Dispute Analyst at American Express, currently living in Australia
Feminism: Gloria Steinem began her journey from India
Feminism
  • I’d like to see an overall change in the attitude towards the word ‘feminism’. I’m tired of it being a controversial word that people want to avoid using in a conversation. The fear of being misunderstood forces many to stop talking about the movement altogether, which is the worst! So please, in 2017, let dictionary be the source of your understanding of the word – Sukanya Sharma, Writer, Mumbai
  • Women have power to make more progress if the government allows policies that will help women in restarting their career. This one negative aspect in particular remains to be discussed and to be resolved in a large way. It’s a heartbreak to see women complaining and debating on this subject over and over again, hoping to be noticed one day. Professional women continue to face the difficulties to find a way back to work and if this feminist move happens in the near future, there will a new boom of empowerment – Ria Das, Journalist, Kolkata
  • As a guy, I want to challenge my friends on rape jokes or women not being good drivers and comments like these in various scenarios. I want to see content made by women like movies, books, YouTube videos, comedy videos etc.  Like Aditi Mittal is the only comedian I know & watch, Where are the Others? Let them have their voice too – Hemant Chandiramani, Marketing Manager, Mumbai
  • This year, especially with the US elections, we saw how much emphasis is given to the ‘likeability’ factor for women. And women are pressured to be likeable in the workplace, and men aren’t. In 2017, you should be allowed to be a badass bitch – Tara Khandelwal, Journalist, Mumbai
  • 2017, Young boys should be raised to believe that women are their equals – Arpita Das, Publisher at Yoda Press, New Delhi
  • Girls in public spaces behaving freely and feeling safe should be the ultimate goal in 2017 – Pooja Priyamvada, Blogger, New Delhi

Feminism In India

  • In a city like Delhi, I would love to see women availing public transport without a single shred of doubt – Ragini Yadav, Sales Manager, New Delhi
  • I want that masculinity should not be made a big deal for boys.  Showing emotions and crying should be just as normal for them as for girls. Similarly, girls should not be conditioned to be softer and should be encouraged to show their tougher side as often as required. There should not be a problem in a girl being a Tomboy, if she wants to be –Angela D’Souza, Financial Advisor, Chennai
  • I want the purdah system in Muslims to be repealed. I want girls to be their own bosses — if they want to wear a Hijab, great! If they don’t — that should be fine too. No one should be forced to wear a certain cloth or be a certain way – Fatima Ansari, HR professional, Jaipur