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September 9, 2019

I can hear the roar of women’s silence”- Thomas Sankara

Whenever we hear about discriminations against women, we automatically assume that it must have taken place in a rural area in an impoverished family. It’s hard to believe but truth remains that education does little to no good in changing the patriarchal mindset of people.

Such mindless people move to urban areas, get used to the lavish lifestyle but still on the birth of a daughter in the family, slip into deep mourning, taunts are showered on the mother and the new born baby girl. And God forbid if a woman failed to bear any son, she is subjected to humiliation of all kinds. The father in most cases remains a silent spectator or he too joins in the drama started by the evil family to add to the trauma of the innocent woman.

Most of the girls who are subjected to discriminations in the urban setting are compelled to carry a brave face when socialising but their hearts remain scarred and all through their life they continue to crave the love and acceptance that they never got.

Statements like “daughters are inauspicious”, “they bring bad omen”, “God gives daughters only to those with whom HE is unhappy” is quite common, and are usually spewed to embarrass the mother and her daughters.

As soon as a daughter is born in families with patriarchal mindset, they start worrying about the dowry that they will have to arrange for her, as if a woman is destined just to become someone’s wife and not something more. As if she has no identity of her own, and no say in deciding the course of her own life. If she has a brother, her role will be limited to being a care giver to him. She will be served the leftovers after he has eaten. While his success and achievements will be celebrated, hers will not even be acknowledged.

Such people use the shield of religion while subjecting their own women to such injustices. Unfortunately all they do is mix culture with religion. While studying Islamic law in college I learnt that such practices of discrimination against a girl child was prevalent in the pre-Islamic Arabia. People of those times would practice female infanticide by burying their daughters alive. Little girls were treated poorly and deprived of the affection of their family. But Islam raised the status of women, and made it obligatory for men to take care of their women.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“The one who has three daughters born to him, and he is patient over them, and clothes them well according to his means, they will become a means of rescue for him from Hell. ” (Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad, Ibn Majah)”

Despite the strong evidence against such practices, some Muslims continue to torture women in the name of religion.

Women in fact are highly revered in every faith. But people believe in following their own despotic rules .

It’s also to be noted that Mothers hold a seat of respect across religions.

And the truth is that in today’s world, a female child does as much for her family as a male child, the argument that a girl is a burden on her family is no longer valid, earlier too, she was regarded as a burden just because she was forbidden from proving her intellect and capabilities. Her only role was to cook, look good so that she could find a suitable mate, and prepare for her impending marriage.

“Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him — or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.” – Dorothy L. Sayers

Recently I posted a Times of India article on my Instagram story highlighting the discrimination against girls in Rural Haryana, and I got some heart-wrenching replies from girls and that too from urban settings, belonging to well-to do families and across religious inclinations, dislodging the notion that such activities are limited only to rural areas and among uneducated families.

Here are some of the conversations:

“When I was born, being the second daughter, my dadi cursed me in the hospital, yelled at the nurse for asking for shagun etc. I still don’t see acceptance in her eyes. My whole life I’ve seen my mother getting taunts and being treated badly for giving birth to only two daughters. For a long time, until recently, I lived with the burden of “proving” myself. Of being “extra” good, as a daughter and in everything just to prove the world and my own self that I’m “better” than a son. To get acceptance. Until recently, when due to some circumstances, I stopped trying and started thinking about my rights as a daughter and not only my duties. Life is a little easier now.” – A

“I am typing this with a lump in my throat. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You are the God’s gift to your parents, and no one can take that away from you. Why are people still following the pre-Islamic Arabia traditions? We too are three sisters. And I am the second one. We are extremely fortunate that we didn’t have to go through anything like that.”– Me

“You’re such a pure soul.

I know, right? I grew up in Delhi, in a Muslim locality, and all I ever heard growing up was the importance attached to daughters, how Prophet PBUH loved them. At that moments, I realised and still do, the importance of having religion in your life. It gets more important if you’re not educated. Religion becomes the only source of insaaniyat then.” – A

“You’ve Masha Allah have a great family. Humara khaandan to Pakistani dramon wala hai hahah”- A

“But not everyone in my extended fam is like that. One of my relatives treated his daughters like shit. Now since he is no more in this world. I won’t go into details. But it was gory”– Me

“I understand. Living in Delhi, it’s privilege all around but once I’m in my hometown (which is in UP), I really count my privileges. There women are still not allowed to go after Maghrib even in emergencies. I remember my mother having a major breathing problem and nobody cared. Nor they were allowing me to go and since I don’t have a brother or a very social father I’ve done work of my home from a very young age and I obviously find these things very hypocritical and chauvinistic. Things are changing now but not for good. Now it’s just copying Bollywood.” – A

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