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Life in India as a Woman
Life in India as a woman
Life in India as a girl sure is different and difficult. The struggles start from our mothers' womb when they try to figure out whether the baby is a boy or girl and if it is a girl they consider it to be a burden and is aborted. Well, the government has taken a few measures to prevent this from happening and has passed a rule that the hospitals must not reveal the gender of the baby until it is born. "Female infanticide", a very familiar term in India. Well, there is a reason why female kids are considered to be a burden. The stereo-types and narrow-mindedness of the society will never let female kids to be not treated as a burden.
The expense loop
When you start bringing up a female kid in India, there are no issues until the girl reaches puberty. Once the girl reaches puberty, the society expects the family to publicise the fact that the girl has reached puberty and conduct a ceremony. These ceremonies are never just to celebrate something rather it is to flaunt one's wealth. That's when the never-ending loop of spending for the kid starts. The family needs to start saving money for the kid's wedding. It doesn't matter even if there are years left for the kid to get married. They need to start saving money to feed the craving craziness for the yellow-metal of the in laws as dowry. Dowry doesn't take the form of gold alone, rather it involves money,cars,land,property etc.
Then there is the wedding expenses. Indian weddings are not just considered to be a ceremony for the union of two people. Believe it or not the bride is judged based on the dowry and on how much her side of the family has spent for the wedding. Her well-being in the in laws' place is based on how lavish the wedding is carried out. Just to make this happen, her side of the family get into debts. When some families fail to meet the demands of the in- laws, the bride faces the consequences. You can find a lot of cases where women are going through domestic violence by their in-laws for not fulfilling their dowry demands.
Then there is a small break and the expenses start again when she gives birth to a baby. Then there comes the ear-piercing ceremony where they again expect the maternal side of the family to spend and then the puberty-ceremony and then the loop continues. The family who has a girl baby has to go through all these economic struggles
Female Education? That's a no!
Education is the best way to enlighten and empower women. Educate us and we won't depend on you for our economic needs and we won't fall into the stereo-types that the society tries to embed on us. But, are girl children educated?
They do not educate female kids because they think that it is unnecessary to spend for a female's education as they won't be allowed to work anyways. This is because it is considered to be an embarassment when a girl earns and helps to run the family. My question is, when you look into the school records, majority of the toppers are girls. We do better with studies than guys do. But, even if we do well with studies, even if you educate us, why don't you let us work? Where do we implement our knowledge? Just because we are girls, does it mean we can't dream of making a career on our own? Why is it a shame when a girl child works and helps the family run? Shouldn't you be proud of your daughter when she earns better than your neighbour's brother or your sister's son? Give us a chance and we will give you a thousand reasons to feel proud of.
Love is a sin.
The next issue is about getting the girl married. They consider it to be a shame if the girl falls in love and if you fall for somebody who is from another caste, it either ends up in eloping or murder or suicide. I don't get it. Love is a feeling that occurs to all humans. It's part of being a human. There's love everywhere. The love that a husband has on his wife, the love that parents have on their kids, the love that a brother has on his sister, the love that friends have on each other, Don't you think it is this love that keeps us together and keeps this world running and helps us be atleast a little selfless in this selfish world. Isn't it natural for a girl or a woman to fall for a guy or a man and vice versa?
The family's pride lies in getting the female married in the traditional arranged-marriage setup where the parents do the match-making and get their kids married. In India, you can't talk to a stranger but you can get married to one. How amazing is this! This fears the family in letting the girl get exposed to the outside world as there is a possibility for her to meet new people and eventually fall in love with somebody.
Thus there is no point in accusing the individuals for performing female-infanticide or child-marriage or dowry or preventing female education or preventing female empowerment. The entire society is to be accused for the lack of female empowerment. Unless and until the entire society as a whole gets educated ,broad-minded and breaks these stereo-types, female empowerment in India is a skeptical topic to discuss on.