It is a matter of pride that I was born a girl, despite knowing very well how tough life continues to be for women from birth till their death, and from east end of the globe to the west.
From parental upbringing to interaction outside, from house chores to professional job, from status at home to dignity at work, women are given second class treatment in most places. We form more than 50 % of the whole world’s seven billion, but still struggle to make ourselves being perceived as more than an object.
Whether in the name of faith, culture, or physical vulnerability, women are shown their worth merely as an Adam’s rib.
It had an added caption ” Would you like to be a covered lollipop or an exposed one?”
And to add more to my horror, many women and girls seemed to be nodding in agreement with their comments.
Do we really have to compare ourselves to lollipops ?
Does a lollipop have a mind of it’s own ?
Does a lollipop become a scientist like Marie Curie or a Prime Minister like Benazir Bhutto or an astronaut like Kalpana Chawla ?
Do lollipops even become strong caring mothers, supporting wives or sincere friends ?
But we women folk do. So we better stop this idiocy about covered or uncovered lollipops, please.
Everyone has a right to choose what should one wear, or not to wear, and so does a woman, whether she chooses to wear a hijab or not. Many women willingly choose to wear it as a part of their religious duty. But there are many who go for it because they consider themselves safer wearing one. Sadly, that is a myth.
If it was just exposure, or physical attraction, which made girls vulnerable, why would girls as young a ten years, two years or even six months be abused, molested or raped ?
It may make one feel less exposed physically, but the real safety comes from a strong mind. A strong mind comes from awareness. And awareness comes from quality education.
It is naïve to expect that things will change, only when men will change. They need to change too, but if women get empowered, men will change themselves.
If women really wish to make women abuse a history, they need to empower themselves with right education and independent thinking. And then they need to pass on that information to other women folk .
Challenging oppression does not mean to be a rebel. It does not mean to hate men folk, nor does it mean to detest womanhood. It simply means to have your own mind and stand on your own two feet, with hijab or without.
P.S. In this 16Days of campaign of Violence against Women, try to teach at least one weak woman to become strong through Education, for herself and for her family.