I was born to wonderful parents, who cherished everything but not me, and the reason they gave was, “You are a girl, and after all you will leave us once you get married”, they said.
I have a brother, a younger one. He gets new dresses while I get bits and pieces of clothes to cover myself, he can go to school though he gets a zero in science, whereas I cannot, though I got a 100 in math, I was made to do all the chores at home, and also to cook delicious food for my brother, while I got to eat his leftovers, His marriage was a festival, while mine was simply a tragedy. I expected my life to get better after my marriage, but in vain. I knew not the meaning of sexual assault, until my husband raped me brutally daily, I was bet and thrashed by my husband and the reason was that I didn’t bring enough dowry but you see, he is a drunkard, and he eats with what I earn, what I earn by working in all the houses possible, and people have given me a name, and that’s ‘Prostitute’. I didn’t know life would be pathetic for the rest of my days, but it is. I cry in darkness, I cry in vain, I cry with my lips smiling, and now I am pregnant.
I pray to God, that the child must not be a girl. I might not hesitate to abort it if it is a girl child, not because I hate her, but because I love her, I love her with all my heart and she should not go through all that I’ve gone through. It is better for her to rest in peace that to suffer a life on earth as a slave, being treated as an animal. This is how a mother feels when she decides to kill her baby girl. When is this going to change? In many parts of India, the birth of a girl child is not welcomed. Right from her arrival, she faces discrimination, humiliation, and oppression at every stage of life. When it comes to healthcare, education and growth opportunities, she is neglected because of her gender. Some manage to survive and foster new paths to follow. Most, however, surrender hopelessly to the sad fate assigned to them. Every year, October 11, is observed as an International Day of the Girl Child, with the intention of creating awareness of gender inequality and this initiative was formally proposed by Mr. Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister for the Status of Women. This day is celebrated worldwide, honoring girls of all ages, of all profession, and for their greatness. But, beyond all these celebrations, it is the heart that values each and every woman which matters, and when that happens, there would be no need for International day of Girl child. Everyday would be a day for a girl, filled with respect, honor, prestige, privilege and equality.
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.
About the author: This article is written by our intern, Sherly Hephzibah.