Being a girl child is not easy in India, where the nation is crazy about male offspring for the sole reason – ‘Khandan Ka Naam Aage Badhaana Hai’.
Girls are seen as a burden to the family as the family has to spend money on their marriage, especially dowry.
There many instances in India when the sex of the child is identified and the foetus is killed because its a female. This is the horrific state of affairs in our nation where the girl child is not even given the opportunity to be born. Thankfully, I was born in a family which does not hate girl child. I feel privileged to have access to a good education and an amazing lifestyle.
While, access to education is very important in order to gain knowledge and understanding of the world, many people still don’t realise it. Éducation has a very important role to play in our lives as it provides baseline skills to survive. It teaches us skills like effective communication and more. Education is also important to be able to make the right choices for ourselves. It widens our perspective on everything and helps us decide what is the best. It also helps us formulate our own career paths. With access to education, we can explore various options and build upon the one we connect with the most. Education has helped me decide what I love to do and helped me pursue the same. It also provides various opportunities in life to succeed. A good and all-round education helped me decide that I would love to pursue Liberal Arts as a course and build a career based on the choices I make during the course.
It’s quite surprising that the girl child is still denied education in many sections of the society because families feel that they will anyway marry and move to a different household so why to spend on them. In lower income groups the floating notion about denying education to a girl child is that they will be more productive doing housework within and outside the homes and the families tend to save their resources for their male children. This gender-based discrimination needs to end by creating awareness that girls and boys are equal. And a girl child, if provided with equal opportunities, can also perform as well as or if not better than the male child. Such stereotypes in the society pull women down. It is high time we understand that men and women are equal. People need to be aware of the condition of the girl children in certain sections of the society and try to make amends for the same. We need to create awareness about the importance of educating the girl child in order to make them independent and strong individuals.
Education is empowering. It gives us the power to make our own choices. It is important to provide girl child what she is entitled- a healthy life and the right to education.
Respect Women in collaboration with CRY wants to be part of a world where girls are celebrated, where they are treated equally, with love and respect. What is urgently required in society today is a change of attitude. Girls must be given the same opportunities and protection as boys and must be treated at par. A girl’s childhood can and must be preserved, cherished, nurtured and protected. Because she has the right to survive, develop, be protected and participate in decisions that impact her life. How you can help? Pledge to create a world free of discrimination against the girl child here.
Let’s all Celebrate Girl Child. Celebrate Empowered Women.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Manjulika Chellappan, our intern.