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Strong women have to be created by parents who bring them up with a sense of freedom for making their own choices in a world which takes them away from women.
Yes, we are in the country where every day you read news where women are suppressed in all possible ways. Reasons are myriad: could be a dowry, victim of aggression, social inequality, rape, molestation and many things which only a woman can tell!
Being a woman and a mother, it’s difficult to find any woman who never had any discrimination due to her gender or assault of any type. I am talking about those who are in their thirties or more. Certainly, this cruelty is not specific to age. But the awareness of these things was limited when these women were younger. Or possibly many didn’t have the courage to fight against those evils in the society.
‘Eve teasing’, cat-calling, molestation were not rare then too. They were very much a part of routine life. The only thing was, people couldn’t muster the courage to raise voice against them and this was especially true for young girls. They had a fear of losing their trust with family and with society.
After all patriarchal dominance was considered the norm, and there was no way these girls would have got any justice! Marriage was ultimate destination and ‘what if these things came out and the girl did not get a match’? Also, once you were married you had to bear all alone – whether it’s wrong or right.
I know how a woman feels unsafe in those public transports and even during odd hours. The plight of travelling in a local bus where there is no separate space for men and women. People who pretend to be gentle and how they take the opportunity to touch girls and women in those overcrowded buses.
I must say the time has changed and it’s much better now. At least the girls are much empowered to talk back and can stop such kind of a nuisance to great extent.
Of course, the crime rate is also high and maybe many women are coming forward with their complaints. They have raised themselves above those where all blame should be directed towards girl without a second thought. I have witnessed the change in the last three decades and as a mother of two daughters, I know what to teach them.
I can’t deny the fact that education and freedom are important factors to fill the vacuum of gender inequality and to make our girls fearless.
But above all is the Confidence and Courage to do the right things on her own and to fight against all evil. I have seen many educated women who are victims of domestic violence, unable to take their own decisions as also uneducated women who live their lives with dignity and pride despite alcoholic husband and many other lifestyle challenges. Then what makes the women who stand up to this different?
I feel the only thing is when a girl is brought up in a family which values her decision, freedom, and confidence. This doesn’t come with default settings. It takes time and surely an upbringing about how to face the biggest challenge of life. We need to encourage them to pursue their dreams and not forcing our decisions onto them.
There is no degree or college which can teach on you this subject. One has to learn from it and how they want their life to be. There are hardships but they are ‘to learn from’ and for ‘moving ahead’. These are the lessons which I will give to my daughters and wish them to be stronger with each passing year.
Being a strong Mom, I will surely raise two with me and may be much more through my writing.
Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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