Quote of the day

Twinkle twinkle little star, never leave a child with scar.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THE GIRL CHILD AROUND THE WORLD

I have written many emotional Articles but today I wanna be a little practical. So I would like to discuss some facts with you. Yes, facts about the girl child. 

The first and very interesting fact is that every foetus is a female at first. In the first five to six weeks every embryo starts off as a female child until the Y chromosome kicks in and the embryo starts growing into a boy. The biggest evidence that supports this theory is the fact that all male have nipples, as they were once a female foetus. 

  • India has the largest population of children (below 18 years), with 400 million.

  • India witnesses more than 27,00,000 child deaths a year, with the figures for female children being much higher than male children

  • 53% of girls in the age group 5 to 9 years are illiterate

  • 75% of married Indian women were underage when they got married

  • One in every two girls in India is malnourished

  • Out of the 12 million girls born in India, 1 million die before the first year of life

  • One out of sixth girl child dies due to gender discrimination

  • One out of every 10 women report instances of child sexual abuse (CSA)

  • Female mortality is higher in 224 out of 402 districts in India

Around the world, girls face barriers to education that boys do not. But educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. These statistics offer insights on those barriers and also illustrate the lasting impact education has on girls, families, communities and nations around the world.

1. 66 million girls are out of school globally. (UNESCO)

2. There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school. (Education First)

3. A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5. (UNESCO)

4. Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school. (UNICEF)

5. In a single year, an estimated 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence. (UNIFEM) [50% of sexual assaults in the world victimize girls under the age of 15 (UNFPA).]

6.14 million girls under 18 will be married this year. That’s 38 thousand today – or 13 girls in the last 30 seconds. (UNFPA)

7. The #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth. (World Health Organization)

8. Girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to be married as children. (National Academies Press)

9. A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. (The World Bank)

10. If India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion. (CIA World Factbook) (Global Campaign for Education and RESULTS Education Fund)

October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl Child, a moment to focus on issues facing girls around the world. A recent study by UNICEF found that violence is a major problem for millions of them. Here are five surprising facts about how girls are affected.

1. A huge number of girls have been abused.

A quarter of girls report being victims of some form of physical violence. That includes girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide—approximately 70 million girls—who reported violence since the age of 15. That figure only includes reported cases; much more go unnoticed.

2. Sexual violence is a big problem.

1 in 10 girls has experienced forced sexual acts. That’s about 120 million girls under 20 worldwide. A third of them are between the age of 15 and 19 and married, and have been victims of emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husbands or partners.

3. Most violence against girls goes unreported.

In some countries, as many as 70 percents of girls never seek help. Nearly half of girls ages 15 to 19 think a man is justified to beat his wife or partner under circumstances such as refusing to have sex, leaving the house without permission, arguing, neglecting children or burning dinner.

4. Child marriage is common.

More than 700 million women around the world were married before their 18th birthday. Around a third—about 250 million—married before the age of 15. And in some places, notably Syrian refugee communities, the incidence of child marriage is rising, not falling.

5. Bullying is widespread.

1 in 3 girls worldwide between the ages of 13 and 15 experiences bullying regularly.This includes direct bullying such as teasing or shoving, indirect bullying such as spreading rumours, and cyber-bullying.

When God gives you a precious Pearl

That is to love when he gives you a Girl

DON’T COMPLICATE THINGS

Hello Everyone,

When the topic for the week was tossed I thought there’s so much to write but my friends were a step ahead and poured their hearts regarding their concerns about how a girl child is perceived to grow up in a society like ours.  And I echo their thoughts.

Well after exercising my brain a lot as to what shall I present, I thought of bringing forth two examples (out of many) from my childhood but not directly related to my own life that had a lasting impact on my opinions.

Instance 1:  He was my junior in school.  A dancer by interest and a very bright student.  He was always a target of bullies in school.  Calling him “girlie” and many more names that I am unable to express (leaving it your imagination) here, was very distasteful to the core.

Instance 2:  I think I was in 4th class, there was one particular chapter in Hindi where the girl child of the family was made to do various chores because she was supposed to know every household task whereas the boy was kept aloof from all that. Ok let’s not into the details 😀.

These instances always made me think “Why this divide?”.  Why we as a society are hell bent on dividing the tasks based on gender.  A girl child by default is made to master the daily chores, culinary arts and she is the sole torch-bearer of the  honour of family.  Whereas a boy child is made to believe that it is acceptable for him not to participate in household tasks.  Rather it is somehow deemed to be a sign of supremacy to announce “my son doesn’t know all this stuff, I have never let him do that” and God forbid if it’s a girl, then it’s a matter of shame or social outcry.

First things first: We must understand one thing that nature have clearly done the demarcation of who does what and that’s final and irreversible.   By trying to divide tasks we are only complicating simple things.

What if a girl child wants to take up taekwondo classes at her will rather than an obligation for safety, what if a boy wants to learn dancing or cooking?  Why not let them apprentice what they want without deep introspection of what society has to say.  One line that is often passed around in our society especially with regards to a girl child “will so much education and learning change the fact that she has to take care of family and kitchen after she is married” really irks me.

On a second thought:  Instead of marking off and dividing tasks between a girl child and a boy child wouldn’t this be better that everyone knows everything or at least a bit of everything.  How about making children (irrespective of gender) share and rotate chores and learn extra curricular activities of their interests without differentiation of genders. That would help us to nurture a more confident, independent, considerate generation.

On contrary what are we doing ?

Defining territories and spell stress:  Because of the years of upbringing that define specific territories to be taken care of by respective genders we are making inroads for stress in our kids’ life in future.  For example a girl child when grows up with the lessons of being solely responsible for her household she is burdened by immense stress of doing it neatly to the T because she knows that she is going to be evaluated by her family on how she keeps the house or how she cooks and her counterpart most probably be unable to share that responsibility because he has never been raised so.  On the flip side he is equally helpless in her absence because of lack of know-how of even simple things like making a cup of tea.  I have witnessed such people.

Undoubtedly the numbers which we call statistics show an improvement in the number of girls receiving education as compared to our own previous records but giving education won’t be sufficient until and unless the rift, the divide between two genders is not mended.  It’s our responsibility to impart an important value in our boys as well (because throughout we have been doing the same to our girl child i.e. imparting lessons on life) that they are equally responsible for peace, sanctity and honour of home.  They are equal bearers of responsibilities of house.

To be precise I am not against a girl child learning the tasks necessary to run a household but then it shall not be the sole prerogative of a girl.  I am not here promoting the complete role reversals but definitely stand up for role rotations based on need of the hour.  And for that to happen we should start treating our kids equally in every way not just helping them pursue hollow education.

Remember one thing: Tasks are not gender definite except for few that are defined by nature.  You can ask your son to help in kitchen and your girl child can help you install that new television in living.  Let them groom in every possible manner.

BE THE GIRL

“You are girl, behave like one”

“You are girl, you should always lower your voice”

“you are girl, walk properly”

“You are girl, you should sacrifice “

“You are girl, you should respect others”

” You are girl, behave properly”

Have you heard any of these statements??

Yes, I guess quite a lot can comprehend these statements. I have grown up in the similar scenario too, being brought by a typical Indian family. Even if you have not heard from your parents, you might have at least from your so-called relatives, who just really don’t care, but want to pinpoint your faults. It is very common to see the people especially women itself degrading women. A girl child is also a child, she equally deserves to be independent like the boy child. She also has her own good and bad, which she needs to figure out.

Life can never be spoon fed, it has to be lived.

We all do take care of our kids, but it doesn’t mean having a girl child along makes your life dreadful. A girl child is also worthy of dreaming and achieving. No rules are laid for being a girl or a boy. Our society must understand that, yet they turn a blind eye towards it.

We, especially in India, the girl child is considered a burden. I wonder why do they have such a mindset. I myself have two little princesses, they are my world, I give them my whole life.

There happened a conversation, where I had argued a lot being a mother of two girls. :

“Are you planning for one more child? “

I was startled, and asked, “Why, I have two kids already, why I need more?”

“You have only two daughters, why don’t you try for a son? “

Actually, the word “Only” was frustrating me

I asked, “Why do I need a son, I have two independent girls .”

“No… for taking your family name ahead, ….”

I stopped the conversation with a sharp look, giving an answer for all the non-senses that was going to flow ahead

“It is not the boy or a girl thing, It is the child who takes the name. If you do good, people still recognize you as your parent’s child, not someone else. I still carry my family name, If I do good, it is my family who earns it.” I too remarked that “Girls are far better in carrying a family ahead “.

I get frustrated and angered, the conversation was actually boiling up my emotions especially when someone compares a girl and a boy. Where in the world, they have written rules like that. There are no limitations set by GOD, he lets us live it equally. It is us human who laid the rules and most of them not in favor of the girl.

Girls are not weaker, the more we strengthen them emotionally, they learn to fight. Once they know to stand up for themselves, none can hamper their growth. But unfortunately, we do not do it perfectly. We ask them to sacrifice, shatter their dreams, get scared of people as they might harm you etc.

Now, presently things are changing, the society accepts a few changes, yet the revolution is not highly influential. Let your girl child grow, enjoy the benefits of growing up equally, then only we can bring in a healthy society.

Girls are like a powerhouse, the more we add the power of will and strength in them, the girl shines out well. Teach them that they are not born for sacrificing their will and interests, help them to capture their dreams.

I personally, feel that being a mother of two girls is what I am proud of. They are my strengths, they are my everything. Nurture every child, boy or a girl, truly in a way that each facilitate each others growth. NurtTeach them to keep their head high.

It is the time that every girl born are saved, they deserve a life too. Not a life that has to be trashed finally, but to be lived truly.

WHY DO WE MAKE THE WORLD SO UNSAFE FOR GIRLS TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE ?

“My wife is doing good, we are very much ready to welcome our baby. Her expected date is three weeks away, I feel so tensed, don’t know how I am going to handle it… Boy or girl we are excited about the baby around which our world is going to revolve. However, I confess that having a baby girl would make me more concerned. I would really feel pressure to bring up a baby girl. Our surroundings are not safe, creches, schools, colleges, offices, not a single place makes me feel any less worried… I don’t know if I can be a responsible dad who can protect my little girl as a parent. It really does worry me….” – view point of my friend who was expecting his first child.

Well, I wouldn’t say I am surprised, I would have to give it a thought. I laid back on the couch after this conversation pondering over how I would have felt. I always am biased towards a girl child, I would just love having one. If I were to be expecting a girl, would I be more concerned than having a boy, without a doubt, the answer is “YES”. Times have changed, girls now get to study whatever they love to, can work, they grow up to be financially independent which really makes a difference to the way life is laid out before them, but the real question is, “Is it safe ?”, no-brainer, it’s “NO”.

I do commute to my work place alone.  Most of the times when I drive back home it’s already late in the evening.  Let me share what happens every day. I get a call everyday at a designated time from my parents, if I do not answer the call, they know I am still at work, my responsibility is to call them back after I am home, no matter how late it is in the night.

Once, it so happened that I wasn’t keeping well, I came home a little early, unknowingly I fell asleep. My parents tried to reach me, I didn’t even have a clue of it because my mobile phone was on silent, the next day morning I see twelve missed calls spaced in time all over the night, couple of messages, when I called them back, I heard what my dad had to say, “Where were you all night ? Do you even have an idea of what kind of thoughts hovered our minds ? This is the last time, you better call us every day after you reach home. Your call is not going to disturb us, frankly, I couldn’t sleep whole night”. This is the reality which every parent, husband, sibling go through everyday, in every home, it can be a boy or a girl, they would be concerned, more so for a girl.

I must accept that I really don’t feel safe when I am driving alone once it’s dark, well, sometimes even when it is day time. I have to be more watchful of the surroundings, every movement feels suspicious, and yes the recent increase in the trends of rapes, molestation’s, acid attacks only increased the amount of data that get’s processed in my brain when I do not have a companion. It’s unsafe !!!

If such is the situation with grown-up’s, imagine about toddlers, young girls. Instances where few month old babies are falling victims of rape, I fail to understand where are we heading. My blood boils, at that moment I cannot really hold on to my anger, how , how on earth can a fully grown up man thinks that a 3-month old girl can satisfy his senseless arousal ? 11 -month old raped for two hours, what the hell ? Wasn’t the baby crying out of pain for two hours and the man had no consideration of it ? 

Why do we make the world so unsafe for girls to live ? What was their fault ? Everyone cribs the world has to change, we make the world and are integral part of it, unless our mindsets change the world would never change. That’s far away, I understand but what can be done now?

Fear creeps in , in various forms. Let’s not have that fear subdue our emotions towards having a lovely baby girl. A child is precious, whether it is boy or a girl. If you have a baby girl, I would not suggest to scare your little one by exposing her to all the bad things that happen in the world, but please prepare her to face the adversities. Make her strong, strong enough to understand that the world isn’t safe, strong enough to fight, smart enough to report any misbehavior. As long as we tolerate, the world would make us suffer, let’s fight instead …

SINCE WHEN DID DOING SOMETHING LIKE A GIRL BECOME AN INSULT FOR A BOY?

“Congratulations! It’s a girl.”

I was dying to hear this in the labor room but it wasn’t supposed to be. I had a boy!

But unfortunately there are many people who go to all possible limits to ensure that they only get a news that says “It’s a boy!” In my opinion, there is nothing wrong in having a preference towards the gender of your child (like I had for a girl), the problem comes when people start to take inhuman decisions for that preference like abortion and killing the girl infant. If not, they would discriminate between the genders.

I personally know a family who is blessed with 2 daughters and they are so worried that who will take over their huge family business in future. The mother of the girls was made to abort the third child at least twice because she conceived a girl again. Not only are they doing foeticide but they are also putting the mother’s health at risk with these multiple pregnancies and abortions. The only question I have for this family and other’s of this kind “why can’t your daughter handle the family business?” I never got a convincing answer for that question.

It hurts me so deeply to see that people just cannot see girls as capable and as precious as boys.

“Let your brothers have those buttery paranthas – you can have later if there is anything left over.”

“While your brother is going to play football, why can’t you just make sure that kitchen is clean post lunch?”

“Keeping the home maintained is a girl’s responsibility. No matter what. So, you should better start learning the art of it.”

These statements aren’t uncommon even in today’s world. I have no idea why is it only girl’s responsibility to cook and clean when these things are something that is needed for the survival of a human being. Boys should know it as much as girls.

There was a brilliant advertisement made with #LikeAGirl. In that advertisement they ask certain questions to kids in late teens and the same questions to 10 year olds and younger kids. One of the question that they ask is “how does a girl run?”

Older boys and girls tend to mock it as a shabby way of running. Younger kids (both boys and girls) show a girl running normally and a 5 year old girl says – “running like a girl means running as fast as you can”. Then they throw a question to the audience “Since when did doing something as a girl become an insult?”

“Don’t cry like a girl! You are a boy”

“My daughter will be my son. She will support me in my old age”

Do you notice something weird in above statements? Doing something as a girl is a demotion of a boy. Doing something as a boy is always a promotion for the girl.

Who made this hierarchy that said boys are superior than girls? It’s just an outcome of patriarchal society that we exist in.

It is high time that we save our girl children and give them as much love and care as we give to our sons. It is also important that we watch our words when we talk to our kids. Saying anything that implicitly means that boys are superior should be omitted. It is very much required that our coming generation learns that both boys and girls are equal.

OH BOY! IT’S A GIRL!

1st time in the labour room:-

Me: “Dr, what is it? I wanted a girl”

Doc: “Wait for 5 minutes.”

I apprehensively waited & the doctor said “It’s a boy”, showing me the baby.

My baby gender wish vanished the moment I saw my baby and held him in my arms.

Throughout my pregnancy, I kept praying for a girl. I didn’t like when anyone used to bless me saying, “Doodo nahao, puto falo”, which means may you bathe in milk and give birth to sons. In my heart I used to cry – why can’t people give blessings for a girl, why does it have to be ‘putravati bhava”?

When my son was born, most of the people said now that a boy is born first, I can sit back and relax. I kept telling them that being a female, I wanted a baby girl, not for any other reason, but fascinating about their endearing clothes, making their pretty hairdos, indulging in gossips when they grew older and all that.

2nd time in the labour room:-

I was pretty sure this time that it’s going to be girl. I bought some ‘pink’ stuff also. My 4.5 year old son and I were so confident that we named ‘her’ Zara.

The moment I heard my newborn cry, I sprang up to see and confirm if it’s a girl.

I shouted at my doc: “You delivered a boy, I wanted a girl!”

Doc: “I can take this baby in that case”.

Me: “No…It’s MY baby!” Everyone had a hearty laugh!

My husband and my cousin sisters were worried that I might go into depression because they knew how badly I wanted a girl and also planned accordingly. But, the sheer fact is that the moment you know you are carrying a life inside you, you fall in love with it, whether it’s a boy or girl.

However, the heart-rending truth remains that in many families, the male baby is given importance and that too at the cost of taking the lives of the newborn girls. Every time I read or watch any news of girl infanticide, I feel poignant and enraged.

How can anyone be so cruel and heartless to kill such a beautiful creation of God?

Instead of “Ladies first”, it’s “Males first” in our country. Even in today’s changing times, our society is so biased against the females. Many parents don’t believe in higher education for their girl child. Because of raucous boys, girls are restricted to go out after the dark, whereas the boys are born to roam freely anywhere anytime.

Even if a woman is working and earning equally as her husband, she is supposed to give her cent per cent towards her house and family members. A woman isn’t supposed to fall sick, whereas the entire house will be concerned if her husband has a headache.

And it doesn’t stop here; we have put restrictions on her during ‘those days’. She isn’t supposed to offer her prayers, just because she has got her periods. My mother used to say, “Why restrict when this is also a part of the nature?” True, if God isn’t biased, so why are you!

Times are changing. Our generation has been able to mould a lot of things, but still a lot needs to be done. The other day my son told me,”Cars are for boys”. I immediately corrected him, “If a girl likes to play with cars, she can. No toy is girl or boy specific, just like you play with your kitchen set, a girl can play with cars as well.” I keep telling him that girls are equally strong as boys.

She is the creator, the core of all relations;

She makes the world a living place with her emotions;

Everything is just beautiful when she is around;

She can do wonders, why do you frown?

Don’t cut her wings, you will cry;

For she is as good as a boy.

Let her live, give her a chance;

Else, without her we will go into trance.