September 29, 2011
I am a Generation Y girl and have been born and brought up in an environment where women are respected, loved and viewed as equals. As a girl child in the family I was given the same privileges and opportunities as my male counterparts; opportunities in the realm of education and extra curricular activities, opportunities to speak my mind and voice my opinion, opportunities to make my mistakes and learn from them…
I recently came across a statistic in one of Mumbai’s popular newspapers which claimed, based on a survey, that a whopping 42% of Asian men were willing to spend more on a male child's education than they were on that of a female child. The prevailing thought structure of our society, that the statistic showcased, perturbed me.
It is appalling that men today still consider sidelining female education when numerous efforts have been made in the past and continue to be made in terms of promoting families supported by educated women as holistic ones. Has the education that they have received as male children made them advocates of such inequality? Isn’t education, apart from being a source of livelihood, dynamism of thought as well?
While on one side of the situation exist such poorly constructed belief systems, there are on the other side those men of honour whose liberal and modern thinking in the past have created ripples that have today become more than revolutions. Fr. Leo D’souza’s (of St Aloysius College fame) initiative in the area of co education is a classic example of such out-of-the-box thinking. It advocates and promotes education as an equal right for both genders and not just the privilege of one.
Another instance is the project undertaking in the Kingdom of Bahrain, worth BD 130000, that aspires to lead women to a life of independence if not self sufficiency. Formal courses and training initiatives are underway to hone women’s skills in photography, translation, media and communication- professions that are apparently currently male dominated, on the island.
Over the years, we have come to honour women like Rani Laxmi Bai who sparked the struggle for independence, Indira Gandhi who rode the metaphorical tiger and Chanda Kochhar who revolutionised retail banking. May be, it is high time that we underwent a metamorphosis of thought and accepted the hand that rocks the cradle as the one that rules the world!
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