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October 11 is #InternationalDayoftheGirlChild. A day to remind ourselves that there is so much more to be done before the Girl Child can be safe. A collection of stories that are almost universal.
Trigger Warning: This deals with graphic description of violence against women, including sexual abuse, and may be triggering for survivors.
A collection of stories, from millions of girl children who still don’t have a voice, a choice, the right to just be.
The cold steel blades advance towards her.
Merciless. “I don’t want to die”, she screams.
Her shrieks echo off the walls of the womb.
Firm hands grip her head, and ease her out.
Gently. The touch changes. “It’s a girl”,
A voice snarls, dropping her in disgust.
She wakes up from the dark. Something soft
Pressed against her. “I can’t breathe”,
She thinks before slipping back into the black.
Dizzy with hunger, her eyes are fixed on the bread.
One piece. She wants just one piece.
Her brother grabs it. She will sleep hungry again tonight.
Chocolate. She hates chocolate. Chocolates are secret.
‘Uncle shouldn’t tell mother what she did.’
She takes the chocolate. Good girls always smile.
She smiles. Her clothes are itchy. She smiles.
Yesterday, she was going to school. Today she is married.
“It is for your own good”, she’s been told.
She married him in a temple; one he can enter.
They ran away. Started life together.
Her brother found them. Raised his sword. She shut her eyes.
Pain. Excruciating pain. Flashes of faces.
Men entering. Leaving. Laughter. Kerosene. Pain.
Through the flames, her last thought-
“Was this how it was meant to be?”
Image source: Comstock from Photo Images Free for Canva Pro
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Natasha works in the development sector, where most of her experience has been in Education and Livelihoods. She is passionate about working towards gender equity, sustainability and positive climate action. And avid reader and occasional read more...
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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Some time ago, Imtiaz Ali and Hansal Mehta respectively spoke of biopics of Madhubala and Meena Kumari. But do these biopics do justice to these women?
I recently came across a Reddit thread that discussed the fact that filmmaker Imtiaz Ali had announced making a biopic of Madhubala, and I wanted to explore this a little.
Of late, biopics based on the lives of beautiful but fatefully tragic women such as Lady Diana and Marilyn Monroe have created waves. Closer at home, we hear about the possibilities of biopics being made on the lives of Meena Kumari and Madhubala as well. These were hugely famous, stunningly beautiful women who were the heartthrobs of millions; who died tragically young.
I am glad that the Orange Flower Awards seek self-nomination. High achieving women often suffer from self-doubt, and this is a good way to remind us that we are good enough.
A few days ago, I saw an Instagram post announcing the Orange Flower Awards which recognise the power of women’s voices. I read about it with curiosity, but didn’t give it a second thought.
I received an e mail from Women’s Web seeking self-nominations for the Orange Flower Awards, and I ignored it. Yes, I write occasionally, but I didn’t think my work was good enough for me to nominate myself in any of the categories.
A past winner especially tagged me and asked me to look at nominating myself, and I told her that I was not ready yet. “That is up to you”, she said, “but I think you should nominate yourself.”
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