Means to Procreate or Much More
Education has really made a difference in this aspect, but in rural and regressive societies, people do pull a face when baby girls are born. Female foeticide and infanticide are frightfully common in India even today but then some girls do make it past this stage. After the initial disappointment, girls are pretty much looked after as well as the boys, through kindergarten and primary school. The differences, though, begin here.
Where boys barring a few, get on with their studies, on courses of their choice, majority of girls end their education, when their school days come to an end or some are made to stop the day they attain puberty. If only girls are given a chance to pursue their education. Not just in terms of being eligible for some gainful employment, if need arises, but it really changes the personality of the girl, for the better. It gives them the confidence to face anything that life has to offer. As the saying goes, ‘knowledge makes a person unfit to be anybody’s slave’’. Knowledge is the one thing that will make her a better mother.
Later on, when a girl gets married, the whole mantle of house-hold responsibilities falls on her shoulders. She cooks, cleans, does laundry and later takes care of the kids. In short she takes care of everything that needs to be looked after. But the men treat them as little more than glorified house maids. Do men give women the respect or acknowledge what they do.
So from being born as an unwanted person they live a life ruled by the men around them. Which brings me back to the question are we only a means to procreate?
Creation or carrying life within is a boon given only to us women. It’s not just a task or a chore. I don’t know about the men folk from my generation but I can vouch for the kids of the coming generations. They do know and value us women, their mothers. This is because I have taken it upon me to bring up my kids equally. I have taken it upon me to not show any favoritism. I have taken it upon me to give my daughter an equal shot at life.
As we celebrate this week, take time to stop for a second and make a promise to yourself that the next generation is not going to face what you did. If you make a start many others will follow and what better a day than Women’s day to make this start?