India’s Unwanted Women.
You are a female. You’re born in India and your parents, who are supposed to love and care for you, are disappointed and angry at your existence. Not because of anything you have done or said, just simply because you are female. They see you as a financial burden. They see you as a drain on their resources and there is absolutely nothing you can do to make them feel any different. You know, for a fact, that they would have aborted you if they had the means. Just because you are female.
If you can put yourself in this situation then you can feel how horrible this would be and you can count yourself lucky that this is not your life and you have parents who love and respect you.
However, this is the harsh reality for an estimated 21 million Indian girls.
Parents prefer to have sons because they are seen as the heir of the family and the breadwinner. In many cases, a couple will continue to have children until they conceive a son. Shockingly, some couples would prefer to terminate the pregnancy and not go through with the birth if they discover that their child is female.
Since ultrasound technology has become available in India, which allows couples to find out the sex of their baby before it is born, female abortions have become rampant. Gender-based abortions are banned yet up to 12 million baby girls were aborted in India in the last three decades.
Women in India have an extremely tough time. If they are not aborted, they are born into a family who most likely view them as a disappointment from the offset and the hardship does not stop there. They don’t get to have their own dreams and aspirations. They are taught to cook and clean, they are told to be respectful and not to disagree.
All of this is in preparation for them to be married when they turn 21, regardless of whether they want to be married or not. They are advertised based on their physical features and then their families must pay a dowry to the new groom. Women in India are consistently viewed as second class citizens. There is high unemployment amongst women as many of them have no choice but to stay home and be a housewife. Also, it is not uncommon for women to be groped, raped and sexually harassed by men and they are often told that this is their own fault.
Unfortunately, this is what life is like for many women living in India even in this day and age. It is a sad reality and one that needs to change to allow equal rights and justice for women. They should have the right to pursue their dreams, to follow their goals and to not feel as though they are a constant burden on their families.
They should be able to be educated to the same level as the men, to work and be paid the same as a man doing the same job and they should be able to walk down the street without fear of being harassed. One would think that these are all common sense and basic human rights but sadly, many women are being deprived of this.
This needs to change and organisations like Women on Wings, Sayfty and Commit2Change are doing a fantastic job at empowering and protecting Indian women.
These organisations are doing their best to change life for many women in India and we can hope that over time, with each new generation, the view on women will change and they will no longer be seen as unwanted and unequal.
Lizzie tries to do her best to make a positive change in the community and she regularly volunteers to help the homeless and the elderly living alone. She’s also been part of an organisation called Junior Achievement and has gone to schools to teach children from disadvantaged areas.
She has taken part in numerous fundraising events for many different charities and organisations. She’s done everything from fasting to skydiving from 10,000 feet.
Her hobbies include gaming, reading, playing the ukulele, zumba, cooking and trying to befriend her grumpy pet hedgehog, Peeves.