We have entered a brave new world, which strives for equal rights to be given for women, as they rightfully deserve. Gender justice has evolved drastically over the years, be it corporates all over the world making provisions to hire a greater number of women workers, to countries like India ensuring that outdated traditions like that of female infanticide are completely repealed. The number of non-government organizations (NGOs) promoting the education of girls in rural areas, and taking steps to ensure that they are not mistreated has also increased.

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So in times like these, it’s a refreshing change to learn about the largest tribe in Northeast India, who are different from others. This tribe, known as the Khasi, has been living in cultural harmony for hundreds of years now. The women rule here and the men demand equality ( isn’t it strange?)

 

Responsibilities being a Khasi Woman

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In the lush green hills of Meghalaya, the Khasi tribes have thrived on a culture, which is completely different from the one, which has been prevalent for centuries all over the rest of the country.

Being a matrilineal society has its perks. The women belonging to this tribe enjoy certain privileges, which are non-existent else where, such as the inheritance is transferred to the youngest daughter in the family.  The descendants of the family are known by the mother and not father and it is mother who inherits the properties, children.

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Thanks to this culture, the concept of bride –burning and the sufferings of a woman from her in-laws have reduced. There are arranged marriages, but it is done with consent of both boy and girl. A woman can never be forced to marry and has the right to end the marriage too. The youngest daughter of the family is the custodian of the family property.

Khasi’s life is full of music and joy. They play different kinds of instruments like drums, flutes, mouth organs, etc. The people are really warm hearted and like dancing too. All said and done, the concept of bestowing the family lineage to the women is a positive step nevertheless towards building a culture in which women are treated on par with men. But with high levels of illiteracy and not adequate representation of women in the local bodies still poses the questions: Are these tiny perks sufficient to say that the women are being treated right? The answer is no. There is a long way to go. The burden which falls on the women, all the way from being a daughter, to a wife, and finally a mother, needs to be shared by the male counter parts to ensure better lives for the women.

It is the responsibility of every man in this country to ensure that we play even the smallest part in ensuring that the women in our lives are treated right, be it your mother, sister, wife or daughter. Lets give them a life that they deserve.