National Girl Child Day was on January 24. It is no coincidence that we have a ‘ Girl Child Day’ and a ‘Women’s’ Day’ but no ‘days’ for boys/men. The boys need not feel disappointed; it means they, as a species, are not in danger. See, the basic idea behind having special days are for things which are in danger, so we have Women’s Day, Earth Day, Plantation Day and of course Girl Child Day. We have campaigns for the same reason, Save Tiger Campaign, Save the Sunderbans, Save the Rainforests of Africa, Save the Butterflies, Save the girl child.
What comes to my mind is that all these campaigns have failed, tigers almost extinct, it’s been ages since I saw a butterfly or a frog outside of a ‘protected environment’, Earth is slowly but surely choking to death, Forest cover is decreasing on a daily basis, so it will be with the girls.
Girls need to be safe and wanted, if we want humanity to survive , if … there is no compulsion, from what I have seen of humans there is actually no harm in letting it die.
There are many who believe that we don’t need a Women’s Day or A Girl Child Day. Women are equal to men and have made their mark in the world in all spheres. It is asked what more do we want?
Let me attempt to tell you.
I want the unborn girl child to be safe and get a chance to be born. There are six million missing girls and the number is increasing every year. I want doctors who conduct gender tests and abort female fetuses to be convicted.
I want the baby girl a chance to live as equally as her brother, have the same food and privileges of sleep and work and schooling. I want the young girl to be given equal chance to study and play, not become a mother to her younger siblings at a tender age as her own mother is further burdened by continuous childbirth.
I want her to study till she becomes capable of financial independence and understands herself. I want her to have toilets at her school so that she does not have to stay home due to this basic need.
I want her to have a choice of marriage, not that she be foisted on to the first ‘suitable’ man who is willing to take her with an affordable dowry. I want her t be wanted for herself not for the money, material goods she will bring. I want her to be loved and respected in her ‘new’ home not abused, tortured and burnt for greed.
I want her parents to support her if she decides to leave an abusive marriage, not push her to stay for social acceptance and then stare in grief at her dead body hanging from the ceiling fan.
I want her to be loved and respected as a daughter, wife and mother, not as a package foisted from father to husband to son. I want her to be respected for what she is, not for what she earns or does.
And more than anything I want her to be safe, safe from physical abuse and harassment. From a six month old baby girl to a seventy-five year old woman, no female is safe. And rape occurs within the boundaries of the known. And she is told to keep quiet for family honour.
I want her to be free to make choices… to be happy… to ….
I want …. I want ….
Is all this too much to want?