LET YOUR GIRLS GROW-By S.Rafique

LET YOUR GIRLS GROW

Girls !! The corporatized world makes them an object, a commodity and makes them feel insecure. Often read and witnessed, since childhood, in most places girls are advised to eat after their brothers or father and keep quiet in front of them!! Female foeticide,malnutrition, child marriage, trafficking, dowry, exploitation, harassment etc .. are the well known traumas girls go through. But there’s one thing which get’s undermine which is about dealing with body image.
Our idea of feminism is encouraging girls to become astronauts. How is 14-year old going to have big dreams if she isn’t taught to be comfortable with her own body and appearance? When young girls start getting breasts, there are mothers that tape/make their daughters wear loose clothes so her breasts don’t show,to protect her. We are at constant watch of what we wear,how we sit, the tone of our voice, the bra strap that mustn’t show, the neckline that shouldn’t drop when you’re setting food on the dinner table- while on the other hand our sons are probably just outside discussing about bikes with their friends in an alley, or spreading legs, wearing half pants or showing hair- when a mans body reacts the same way as girls, we name it strength. In the midst of all of this, you tell them about educating girls to have a career goals-but tell me something, how can you go inspire the young teenage girls to have big dreams, when 80% of her worries are body related?
I would rather teach my girls to love and accept their bodies as they are, understand their sexuality and gender before I talk about her career. Women’s breast are not the problem, sexual objectification is the problem. Breasts don’t hurt children, breasts feed children and it’s the sexualisation of women’s bodies that’s actually hurting the children the most.
Yet we realise that education is one of the tools which can tackle all challenges. Education along with sustainable development will improve the present scenario. Government and the civil societies have started working in this area and we are seeing the difference too, 2016 has witnessed female growth ! Yet we have miles to go….
Besides education and sustainable economic development, girls should be educated to assess and stand against unacceptable behaviour, they should be taught to say No, and develop strategies to help themselves and others as per the situation. Parents usually teach their girls, since childhood, not to get involved when it doesnt concern them. This brings a negative impact in their personality. We should infact raise our daughters to be confident, determined and strong to fight back all kinds of violence and harassments and say -No . They need to realise that their dreams also has value!! Education can do wonders and bring an impressive upliftment in their character, career and life. It teaches them to recognize good from better, learn to say NO, stand up against wrong, become visionary and turn their lives into an institution so as they get empowered not only socially but also politically and economically. This dream will turn true only through accessibility to quality education and support of parents, family and society , So let us all contribute to their growth and development !!
I recollect a wonderful quote of Roman Payne- “As for you girls, you must risk everything for Freedom, and give everything for Passion, loving everything that your hearts and your bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.”

-By
SHAHNAZ RAFIQUE
SocialEnterprenuer/Activist
Former Juvenile Member, Jharkhand

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