Can we be the change!
Who wouldn't agree that men, the half of the world population, need to change in order to make it a fair world.
A world were: A mother won't sink her head in shame because her just-born baby turns out to be a daughter,
a good-at-studies girl won't be banished from going to school just because she was eve-teased, women aren't brought and sold, brides won't burn because parents couldn't afford dowry, a rape victim won't be blamed for calling it upon herself...
Of course men have to change for a fair world. They are born of women. And they even worship women (gods).
But men will be men. So, my vision for this fair world does not see them exercise this change any soon. Women need to take charge. In my fair world, women stand united and don't add fuel to the blazing fire of patriarchy.
It just begins at home. The germ that boys can get away with anything was planted in my head by my aunt when I would have been eleven or so. When her son would beat her daughter, both my age, she would yell at her daughter asking her to be silent and practice patience. Her son, who was already a spoilt brat, would raise her collar with a cunning smirk. The son turns out to be a wife-beater. And the domesticated daughter has since been getting it from her husband and the in-laws.
I wonder why couldn't my aunt be that agent of change.
Here in India, with so many cases of bride-burning and torture, mothers-in-law are still the main vamps. Generally, the demand for dowry and harassment starts from her. Why! Why can't she understand that her daughter-in-law has got the same education as her son, is equally dear to her parents and yet is leaving her world behind for her new home, which shouldn't be a living hell. Being the head of the family she has to take the charge. After all she has been at her place once. The vicious cycle has to stop somewhere.
Can a woman boss make sure that her female staff is not harassed at the workplace and is payed equal as her male counter parts?
I envision a world were women stand up for women.
As a woman journalist, it's my responsibility to work for this change. I have been doing it for so many years now. But I must confess that there have been so many stories which I never had courage to tell. For examples, stories from my homeland, Kashmir. There was an old mother who died waiting for her only son who was unlawfully picked by the army. She waited for 18-odd years. Or a new-bride who was shot at while adjusting the curtain of her bedroom. And a wife who's not sure if her husband is dead or alive. She calls herself a half widow. A sister who was gangraped because her brother was a militant...
See, I am already at it. That's what World Pulse means to be. This training program is empowerment for me. The art and craft of telling the stories in a way that nothing is lost in translation. And bringing the voices to an audience who cares and who matters.
Also, after eight years of working for a leading newspaper, I have quit my job to travel and bring out some real stories which have been left out. It has to be journalism with a purpose. It's something I had wanted to do for long. This program will be first step in the right direction.
Thanks World Pulse for giving me courage!