It might not seem like a big deal to a few, but the step taken by the government of Maharashtra is surely a positive step towards subtly bringing down patriarchal mindsets. While women will now be allowed to choose between their father or husband’s names in government documents, as a part of their identity, school going children will be choosing to use either of their parents’ name in forms.

An Appropriate reddressal mechanism has also been put in place. In case any woman feels her right is not being acknowledged, she may complain regarding the same to the district collector. The government resolution released by the Ministry of Women and Child said:

Children can use either their mother’s or father’s name

Better late than never. The decision, that came from the ministry earlier last week, was a long impending one from the third women’s policy of 2014. The draft, as discussed in the policy of 2014, had a total of 150 policy suggestions, including ideas like separate hospitals for women and reservation in landholdings, according to the Indian Express.

Also read: Draupadi & other mythological women are great symbols of Feminism

Not only will this decision reflect in everyday interactions of individuals with various government and non-government bodies, but is sure to affect the subconscious perceptions of gender and patriarchy amongst individuals and societies in the long run. We can now expect the coming generation, at least in Maharashtra, to look at parent as a gender neutral term, as opposed to a masculine perception of it, as is today.

Also read: How we used WhatsApp to combat domestic patriarchy

My Take

None of the governments, however, have taken any action towards political empowerment of women yet. I sincerely hope that this issue is taken up soon, as it will put women in direct positions of power, rather than just on a piece of paper. No offense intended, but women need more political recognition so that they are empowered enough to assert their want to have their names on their children’s documents. Unless that happens, a patriarchal male will not care, and the female brought up in that culture is sure to give in.

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