#InvestInWomen To create the trust in women

“Which school/class are your children studying?”

This was one question I kept hearing from my grandfather to those who visit our home, be it friends or relatives or just known ones. It seemed better than inquiring, “Do your children attend school?”

“Education travels with you till your last breath, so it is important to study.” My grandfather kept telling me this and to others spreading the word decades ago. This always lingered in my mind.

Years later, whenever I chanced upon meeting common people, like maintenance workers, people managing roadside eatery shops, and auto/cab drivers, I began to develop a conversation. I was curious to know how their children were doing.

Many answered they were in school but there was a catch. Boys were focused on being sent to school rather than girls.

“They would eventually get married someday. It is enough if they learn to manage household chores.”

That was the common reply.

“If she goes to school, she can manage even this country.” It was not easy when I began my talk this way. I informed them about some women achievers from our country. Some laughed, and few gave it a thought.

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To invest in women, the first step was to make them believe women are not meant for household work alone. Though the mindset of people accepts this fact, it is not grounded to all. Still, somewhere the thought that women’s world revolves around their homes only stays strong.

To make my part I decided to voice out. I wanted them to believe in their daughters. I also gathered information on initiatives like the mid-day meal schemes that were introduced by the government to ensure children attend school and not starve. Also, about a few NGOs I came across who funded girls’ education primarily. I pass on such information when meeting them.

A recent survey in Hyderabad was conducted on families of lower income groups to understand the gender empowerment awareness of people and the importance of intervention through schemes such as ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’. The results revealed that many families prefer boys over girls and even the birthdays of girls are not celebrated.

Among the surveyed, 25.2% gave priority to boys over girls while serving food/purchasing new clothes/distributing house chores. About 19.8% preferred a son over a daughter due to reasons such as work, education, etc.

My journey has gone on for about a decade now. A few of them promised to provide education to their daughters and some thanked me for talking about this topic to them. It may be like throwing a pebble into the sea, but someday I believe it may turn into a tsunami.

 

Source Link – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/many-families-in-hyderabad-prefer-boys-over-girls-girls-birthdays-not-celebrated-study/articleshow/108312583.cms

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