Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday asserted that the custom of ‘ghoonghat’ is an impediment to the cause of women empowerment and must be eradicated soon. He added that such customs stop women from contributing to nation-building.

He was attending the 20th-anniversary function of  Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan where he inaugurated the ‘Bahina Dooj’ programme.

Time has changed now but the practice of ‘ghoonghat’ is still there in villages. What is right in confining a woman to ‘ghoonghat’? Women cannot progress till the ‘ghoonghat’ exists – Ashok Gehlot

He expressed his unhappiness at the practice still being prevalent in some regions of India since it belongs to a bygone era.

Key takeaways:

  • Ashok Gehlot expressed his unhappiness at the use of ghoonghat by women in rural areas.
  • He asserted that women can’t contribute to nation-building till the veil exists.
  • He also condemned the practice of child marriage.

“Time has changed now but the practice of ‘ghoonghat’ is still there in villages. What is right in confining a woman to ‘ghoonghat’? Women cannot progress till the ‘ghoonghat’ exists,” he said at a programme on women empowerment in Jaipur organized by an NGO.

Once they are encouraged to let go off their veils, they will be able to contribute significantly to nation-building.

“Women are empowered. They have the capacity to bring changes in society and their role is very crucial,” he said, adding,“You (women) move forward with strength, the state government is with you.”

He also spoke against the practice of child marriage and urged the gathering to shun it. This will ensure that they lead a good life.

Talking about his initiatives to bolster women’s safety, he said that the state government has been providing self-defense training to school girls. Moreover, all the girls in the state are now free to join it.

Also: What you wear is where you can get: Bizarre rules in Rajasthan

Winds of change

Expecting women to remain confined under veils is foolishness. It blocks their vision and does not let them breathe properly. – Baljeet Malik

Last year, Malik Gathwala Khap, one of the largest and most influential khap in Haryana asked women to shun this decades-old tradition of wearing a veil inside and outside of the home.

Baljeet Malik, 66, chief of Malik Gathwala Khap had said, “Time has come to end the age-old traditions that are not relevant today. Expecting women to remain confined under veils is foolishness. It blocks their vision and does not let them breathe properly. Happiness and peace comes to those houses where daughters-in-law are loved like real daughters.”

Moreover, it mentioned that women have the option of keeping the scarf on their heads. This is to show respect towards elders.

Rajasthan has seen a slew of measures for the empowerment of women recently. For instance, the Rajasthan government will distribute sanitary pads in schools, colleges, Anganwadi centres, sub-health centres and Annapurna stores. This has been done to ensure the menstrual health of women.

Also: Rajasthan: Under Menstrual Hygiene Scheme Govt to Distribute Free Pads

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