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India Cafe

India, a country that is marked by the birth of Buddhism and Hinduism is also the birthplace of ideas and hopes for a better tomorrow. A country that is the most populace democracy in the world is molded by the many brave voices that speak of change. Being popular for its trade routes in the 18th and 19th century, now it is popular for the trade and transfer of powerful stories from women who are not willing to settle for less than what they deserve.

Sadly, women are being forced to live in a world of neglect, struggle, and conflict. Women are lacking the right to their bodies, due to sex trafficking and forced marriage, causing the right to their future being vanished as well. Indian women are forced into prostitution, where 20 to 65 million Indians fate rest in being a sex worker. Sadly prostitution isn't the only form of exploitation that women receive. Marriage can be another form, where more than half of Indian women marry before the age of 18, lacking choice and sadly in most cases lacking love. They become not a wife but rather a servant, fearing not only their husbands but their husband's family, living through abuse and intimidation.

Women are seen as second class citizens through both their gender and their position in society. The caste system is still a tool that is used to discriminate and fraction Indians. Though it is weakening in urban sectors it remains strong in rural areas, where seventy-two percent of the population resides. B. R. Ambedkar, the founder of the Indian Constitution, states, '“This condition obtains even where there is no slavery in the legal sense. It is found where as in caste system, some persons are forced to carry on the prescribed callings which are not their choice.” Thus, we need to forge a future, as women, to have the choice of upward mobility and the promise of equality not only realized but cherished and utilized.

As Indian women we want change. We want our words to echo in urban cities and rural communities. Our voices to be sung and not quieted. Our strides to walk with confidence to petition India's failures on keeping us safe rather than us running away from our fate of being seen as less than a man. This is a group where we network for the betterment of not only women in India but everyone who has struggled for equality. It is a safe place where ideas are not only shared but are explored.

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Nobel Women's Initiative

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