Monday, May 1, 2017

"Where a woman is unpaid, unheard and unrecognised"


It is only fitting to announce the South Asia Laadli Media and Advertising Award for the Short Film category, on Labour Day. "The Water Wives" is a short film released by ActionAid India, which is based on true stories. It draws our attention to the discrimination and inherent dehumanization of women in certain parts of our country where men marry multiple times in order to have a wife exclusively for the task of fetching water. The whole premise begs the question, how are multiple marriages the solution for
water scarcity? Is it because a wife's work is unpaid and expected as servitude in marriage? Why does our social fabric weave a picture of bonded labour when it comes to a wife's tasks? Or is it another excuse for the man to derive sexual pleasure from a younger woman?

Caught in the vicious cycle of worsening plight and worsening poverty, the Water Wives have ended up as commodities that work to the advantage of the men involved, who now have another woman in the house to fulfil their sexual urges as well. The film highlights the unpaid and unappreciated labor women put in for running households and how they can be reduced to mere tools of achieving unpaid domestic work.

The film is a testament to how poverty and water scarcity, difficult circumstances, affect men and women differently. While crises lead to an increase in exploitation of women; men turn them around for their benefit. An objective assessment of the situation could lead to solutions like obtaining a shared motorized vehicle by the villagers to fetch water, or hiring some villagers for the task, or taking turns among households in a locality; simple methods of water conservation to ensure sufficient water supply, etc. And yet men have chosen polygamy as the solution, exposing a situation rife with discrimination.

In appreciation of shedding light on this appalling practice faced by women, we announce our first winner "The Water Wives" and congratulate all those involved in the making of this short film. Below is the invite for the award function. We hope to see you there!

Watch this space for announcement of our MOVIE Winners next!

Suggested videos- Water Wives:

Written by : Dr. Ishmeet Nagpal
Editing credits: Dr. A L Sharada, Ms. Srinidhi Raghavan

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