Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26 every year to honour the hard-fought victory of the women’s suffrage movement. While the occasion has a strong connection with the United States, the day also provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress women have been making since centuries, globally. Since the earliest days of our democracy, Indians have taken great pride in our pursuit of equality. It is a right for which many have bravely struggled.
Sharing views on what women equality means to Sneha Wagh who played the lead role in a women centric show ‘Jyoti’ which is currently re-airing on Dangal channel, says, “I support equality in general. There has to be equality prevalent everywhere. Yes, in our Indian culture, women equality is given more importance. This I feel is mainly due to the fact that women have been suppressed for all these years and that’s predominantly why ‘Women Equality’ is a major issue. In our country we generally consider women as a weaker sex. It’s a male chauvinist world around us. At one point we talk about ‘Devi’ the goddess, but when it comes to women equality, the perception is that women are the weaker gender.” Sneha has always supported women empowerment and has voiced her opinion about it. Her selection of shows starting from the very first serial Jyoti Is an excellent example of her strong intent and spirit.
Emphasising on the importance of the same, she adds, “I could probably proudly call myself a feminist, but the problem in our country is that people don’t understand the exact meaning of feminist. Just because the word has ‘fem’ in it, that doesn’t mean it only speaks about feminine problems. I am proud of the roles I have played on screen right from the first and probably the most well-known – Jyoti. The show and my role portrayed the struggles women face in their life. I believe and I am humbled that I am inspiring many women with my on-screen characters. Belonging to the entertainment industry we have the opportunity and responsibility to set an example for society and television industry holds a very important part in it. When I am stepping in those shoes, I feel grateful that in some form or the other I can be a role model to women or the young generation. My upbringing along with the learnings that I receive when I play such strong roles gives me the strength to stand for myself too.”
Sneha believes that before fighting the gender bias issue, we need to start behaving like humans and treat everyone equally. According to her, “We first need to start to learn how to treat humans equally. When we start living and imbibing this thought, equality and kindness will automatically fall in place. We must possess empathy and sympathy for our fellow humans, and start treating each other with respect. I think, feel and believe that if these two aspects are followed sincerely most of the problems will be resolved.”