India celebrates its 69th Republic Day on Friday with a lot of grandeur, joy and pride. We are so involved in the celebration of this important day as this was the day when India’s Constitution was passed making it an Independent Republic. It is a gazetted holiday with a ceremonial parade held at Rajpath, New Delhi every year.
But does it resonate with the challenges that our young girls are facing in this New India? Are we a society which can accept the shortfalls that our young girls are suffering on a day to day basis?
Today we face a pressing issue on the safety of young girls. They are constantly subjected to gender inequalities, sexual discrimination, eve teasing, honour killing, rapes and bullying. Moreover, there are several everyday incidences that a young girl has to deal with in her life.
Do not go out late! Do not talk to boys! Don’t be loud! Be Respectful! Dress Appropriately!
We hear such things being said to young girls so often that it makes us cringe from the inside! It creates a sense of unfairness and low self-esteem which is detrimental to her personality development.
We have developed a list of common problems that a young girl faces.
1. Subjected to Male Stares
It is not unheard of that men are responsible to huge stares on women and young girls. Is it natural for men to stare at women? It is very unpleasant and uncomfortable to be subjected to such frivolous stares.
2. Forced to Leave School due to Menstruation
A recent report by the UNESCO highlighted that over 20% of Indian girl students drop out of school upon reaching puberty, crippling their education. Girls do not have access to sanitary napkins let alone clean toilets or hygiene facilities. This forces them to abandon their schools hence limiting their education and further prospects of higher education.
3. Being Touched Inappropriately in Public
Raise a hand if you have ever been touched inappropriately in public? There are millions of women across the country who travel to their workplace using public transport or simply go to school in buses who suffer from this act. As sad as it sounds, it is a known fact and its shameful that a girl or a woman has to go through this.
4. Urged not to Speak about Sexual Harassment
America in recent times is gripped with sexual assaults and harassment claims at highly professional levels of workplaces. The #MeToo campaign highlights this loud and clear. You are not alone! We get suppressed as young girls on not to tattle after being sexually abused. We need to culturally transform in our ideologies and beliefs of what is right and what is wrong! Always speak up on wrongdoings because the truth needs to be told!
5. Stereotyped on Choices
If you like astrophysics instead of art, or video games instead of dressing up you are the odd one out. This society has already set a path for you as a young girl on what your assigned gender is supposed to like or dislike. Any deviation from that set norm makes you an improper being!
Keep following your heart, passions and goals in life because this is what is going to matter the most.
Be. The Solution is committed to empowering every woman and young girl in India. We want to honour, empower and respect all women across India with our idiosyncratic brand.