Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Educate to Empower

“You educate a man; you educate a man.
You educate a woman; you educate a generation”
                                                             _ Brigham Young

Woman empowerment has been a topic of debate for a long time now. 

In spite of that there are still many women who are married off at the age of minority... There are women who are killed for following their heart... Acids still kiss them and suck their happiness... Petrol and kerosene still drench them thereby rendering them to fierce fire... Innumerous gas cylinders still burst... They are made a scapegoat in the name of pride, ego, male chauvinism and what not!

Dowry problem... Harassment at home... Ill treatment by society... Gender discrimination... She goes through so much... ONLY because she is a woman!

Women are always deprived from human rights. Their patience is always tested and used for the satisfaction of man’s selfish urges. She is treated as a machine that can produce only babies.

From a very small age, she is taught about how to handle a family which is highly restricted to cooking and other routine chores. She is thus shielded from the World outside. Her life gets limited to the four walls of house. She would be financially dependent on her family which only weakens her stance.

There are many women who still cry silently and whose tears go unrecognized. There are many women who are harassed and treated badly. They are bruised and hurt. Yet they remain silent. They say, women have patience. But I say she is not taught to speak up at all; not even for herself.

But hey! Let me ask, if she is illiterate... If she is not economically dependent, if she is tangled within a mesh of family without any knowledge about external world, how anyone can you her to be rebellious? How can you expect her to speak? I wonder if she would have anybody who would even listen to her.

Therefore I believe that educating women would pave way towards empowerment.

I came across a life-changing stories of women in Wadia is a small village in district, North Gujarat. Thanks to Ms.Mittal Patel.. She awed me! And I could not believe that there is one entire district where all women are unmarried and still have children. I could not believe that they are prostitutes by birth and not by chance or circumstances.

Like any other modern day generation, I also Googled, praying that it could not be true... Because I could not digest the bitterness it carried...

Wikipedia says:
"Wadia is the only village openly known for prostitution in Gujarat, which otherwise does not boast of any red-light areas, and flesh trade is a business which thrives underground. Since pre-Independence, the village has been known to attract men from many places. Such is the acceptance in the village that most men have turned into pimps and openly solicit clients for the women of their family. 

This small village is inhabited by a nomadic tribe called Saraniyas. It is believed that the tribal community took to prostitution for want of any other form of employment and poverty.”

Then I read an article in Times of India

"Since pre-Independence, the village has been known to attract men from many places. Such is the acceptance in the village that most men have turned into pimps and openly solicit clients for the women of their family.

There have been many attempts at bringing the women of this village out of prostitution but due to the high acceptance amongst their own community, the women were pushed back into the fold. One major reason behind this was that girls were not considered marriage material since they carried the stamp of being daughters of prostitutes.”

And then, the first thought that came to my mind was simple...

If the family of these women decide to educate them, if they took a step to send them out of that cursed village, those women could have led a dignified life. And their innocent children could also have escaped such a cursed life. And such a village would have perished.

And I really wish that marriage of these young women coupled with proper education for their children would help the upliftmentt of their community.

The time has come, demanding a change...
Empowerment through education is essential!

This post is written as a part of THE IDEA CARAVAN contest hosted by Indiblogger in association with Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012

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