In today’s world, when child’s first cry is heard many people deep down wish that even if the child is unhealthy-it should be a boy; because if a girl is born her health won’t matter since she is already deemed as a ‘burden’. These little girls are raised to become fearful. They are raised based on no’s and don’t’s. No, you can’t study. No, you can’t go out.
This upbringing leads for millions of girls all over the world to lose their education. It is no secret that a good education has the power to change a life and my snatching a pencil and handing them a rolling pin girl are being stopped. Stopped from living up to their capabilities and their potentials. One girl that is denied her education leads to a women who could have cured cancer but wasn’t given the opportunity in the first Place.
A woman in Indian society has been a prey of degradation, torture and exploitation. Men predominate the Indian society; hence women are a victim of male domination in the respective aspect of life; especially economically, over decision making on resources, on the utilization of her earnings and her body. Hence, a woman’s life remains in the middle of pleasures at one end and danger at another end.
Domestic violence is another concern for women, although this issue affects men as well. It’s estimated that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by their companions each year. During the first four stages of the COVID-19-related lockdown, Indian women filed more domestic violence complaints than documented in a similar period in the last 10 years. But even this atypical part is only the tip of the iceberg as 86% women who encounter domestic violence do not seek help . The figure of offences against women has always been underreported, even during the times of the deadly virus. ‘Me Too’, even though of being one of the most influential initiatives taken by the feminist movement in India, had seen many drawbacks in bringing the abusers down and at times, noting all complaints and cases of harassment against women in India. While our culture infused with the patriarchal fear has certainly kept many women away from raising their voices, many have spoken up and obtained justice.
Economic exploitation is also a major challenge faced by women. In the world, women, carry two-thirds of the liability of the world’s work, yet receive only a tenth of world’s wages. The condition of women in India is also miserable in every aspect of life. They are given half of the income their male equivalents make for the same job. In India, a primarily agricultural country, women do more than half of the total agricultural work. But their work is not regarded. On an average, a woman worked 15 to 16 hours a day unpaid at home and underpaid outside
Even if we forget education for a second, in several countries women are considered as goddesses, but their parts aren’t. Menstruation has always been encircled by taboos and myths that disregard women from several aspects of socio-cultural life. In India, the topic has been a taboo till date. Such taboos about menstruation exist in many societies influence on girls’ and women’s emotional state, mindset, and most importantly, health. The challenge, of tackling the societies taboos and beliefs in menstruation, is further heightened by the low girls’ familiarity levels and understandings of adolescence, menstruation, and reproductive health.
We live in a hypocritical world where we worship women but still can’t respect them. Due to these extreme taboos, lack of affordable sanitary napkins, lack of decent functioning toilets, and inadequate school infrastructure, many girls of menstrual age lag in schooling causing them to stay behind.
However, there are always two sides of a story. It would be wrong to not consider how far we have come; even if we have miles ahead left to go. Just like they fought a 100 years ago successful women are shaking up and redefining the world as we know it.
Instead of complacently letting others decide who they are and how they should work, they are finding their voices and claiming a seat at the table. They are committing to pave their own way, and are doing it unapologetically.
We hear the phrase “like a girl” tossed around a lot—and too often, it has a negative connotation. ‘Fight like a girl’ might be a cliché but hopefully one day it would be an honorable one.