They say I’m acting like a boy. I say I am still a girl.
People often tell me that I will never go farer than being in my kitchen. I say I will change the perception because I will show that I also can do what men can. They laugh at me. I never laugh at them. I just do what a man does. They say I’m acting like a boy. I say I am still a girl.
They say a girl who comes from a poor family should not even think of getting high education because it would be such a waste of time. They pointed at my eldest sister who quit school at grade 4 and my second sister who failed “grade 12”exam, ended up helping my mother with a small business. They asked what I was doing and why I didn’t see that girls had no future rather than being a housewife. I say I will never quit school because I am a girl.
My mother, illiterate, taught me every rule to be a good girl. I should not talk or laugh loudly. My teeth should not be seen while laughing. My walk should not be heard. I should not question much, but listen. I asked her why. She said it was the tradition. “Do men have to do so?’’ I asked. She said no. I told her I would not follow the tradition that made me unequal to men. She got fainted.
When I got a scholarship to study abroad, my parents did not want me to go. I told them that I needed to go, to bring changes. My mom asked me why I had to bring changes. I said, “Because I am a girl.” I left. She cried. People watched.
I came home to do a summer project, and gave a speech about being a female leader. I talked about how women should be treated, and what the tradition really meant. Many men did not like the speech; but you know what? They went home, told their daughters, “Go to school sweetheart, I’ll do the cooking and the dishes.”
To my mom, I wish you could understand that I am born to be equal.
To everyone, “A girl is still a person. Why shouldn’t she be treated equally?”