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May 14, 2015

Burying our daughters

     We always tell our girls "it's unsafe outside, don't go", instead imagine a world where we told them "it's unsafe outside, go make it better!".
     The fact that I am a girl and hence vulnerable and unsafe, doesn't ever escape my mind(I'm sure a lot of women will share the same feeling), because the world around me keeps reminding me that I shall be eaten alive the very next moment. Will we ever teach ourselves to be fearless, and fight for ourselves?
     I've had to see my mother go through the struggle of letting me go, and I always thought what's her problem? I need to go out someday! But having worked with beautiful children the past two years, I can see where the protective instincts come from.
     When she finally let go two years ago, I forgot to tell her how proud I was of her! But, little did I know the world hadn't stopped trying to hide me, to bury me! People all around me, even today, 'advise me' not to travel alone, not to go out after 9 or not to hang out with young boys too much!
     But is burying our women in safety, or rather disguised safety, really the answer? What is the difference between restricting a woman from living her life fully and ending the life of a female foetus? We don't want to be responsible for either one's repercussions. 
     Nineteen years of my life my protective mom taught me that I couldn't fight for myself because the world outside was mean and evil, I wouldn't be safe. But despite the love, when I flew out of my nest the world took up the task of telling me to hide behind safety.      Ironically, as I hear these voices who only see the vulnerability of my gender, the past month has been so inspiring and uplifting because of all the strong kick-arse women I've met! I've heard the CEO of India's biggest fellowship pour her heart out, I've heard the founder of an amazing school tell me gender biases are just an excuse, I've met a founder of a weavers society who worked with them for fourteen years to empower and build an enterprise from nothing to a 5 crore turn over, and oh so many women with the power in their voices that are still flashing before my eyes.
     Maybe I should just listen to these women, and tune out the rest, atleast that's what my mom says.

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