Are WE willing to be the change ?
I came across this wonderful article in Womensweb.in that resonated in more ways than one. This article titled Are WE Willing To Be The Change To Create A Less Misogynist(Women Hating) Society? is from Activist Kamla Bhasin, who has tremendous experience in engaging in issues related to development, gender, education, media and others since 1970.
I completely agree when she says violence against women and girls as the biggest and all pervasive war in the world. Unlike other wars, in this case, we as individuals have the power to influence the outcome - we do not have to wait for top leaders of the nation to come to a table to sign a deal. This war needs to be fought in each of our homes, in each of our mindsets. She talks about the cultural tsunami required to change this mindset.
She examines the roles of different factors, right from the words we are used to, the reality of economic disempowerment, role of media and Bollywood, IPL & cricket stars and even political debates.
To begin with ourselves, we need to create homes and societies where women are accepted, respected and they have dignity and freedom, she says. I wish this article initiated space for a discussion in terms of the "how". If we were to honestly examine our houses, how would we rate our house in terms of accepting, respecting women and giving dignity and freedom to them ? Are we ready to face this question ? Are we ready to take feedback from others in our house, especially the older children in the house, on this ? Now, let us move on from our house to our close relatives' houses - our siblings, cousins - are we ready to have an open discussion on this ? To what extent are we aware of our own prejudice or accepted norms for women ? Do share your thoughts on this