I read an article today that so deeply touched the rage inside of me about how women are treated in India, I had to share a part of it. The full discussion can be found in the article “Why girls in India are still missing out on the education they need?”
This article brings up many valid and often horrifying points. I would like to discuss one of the comments posted below the article. A very astute Indian man posted:
Why do so many girls in India so often miss out on getting the education to which they have a Constitutional right?
From the many causes he lists, I’d like to focus on just a few. He states the reasons as:
– Because the fathers of our girls do not want their daughters to get ‘ideas’ above themselves and then start to demand rights – like further education – that they know girls should not receive;
Me: If a girl demands her rights men can’t treat them like chattel. They can’t rape them as they please. They can’t control them. Wouldn’t that be terrible for those poor men!
– Because for instance fathers know that their girls should stay at home and learn to cook and clean for men;
Me: If a girl cannot cook and clean, no one will want to marry her, and then her parents will be responsible for her for her entire life. No parent wants that! They don’t even consider the possibility that an educated girl would be valued.
– Because girls should not get the dangerous idea that they are equal to the boys at home;
Me: If a girl sees herself as equal to boys, she won’t treat the boys with as much respect as they demand and will not be as easily overpowered by them.
-Because our men believe it is their God-given right to rape women – and an education may make our girls question this right;
Me: Need I add anything here? Let me just say, this makes me want to scream.
The Indian culture is a patriarchal one in which the men do not want to see anything change. Of course not. Things are working for them. But can we stand by and allow that kind of treatment of women to continue? Can we continue to allow girls in India to be denied the benefits of an education?
I can’t stand that prospect. I ache for children, both boys and girls, to learn about “modern” attitudes. I want them all exposed to the education that can lead to a better world for all of them. We can’t make fathers send their girls to school, but we can do everything possible to make schooling more accessible to and safe for those girls. Then some will go to school. As more girls get schooling, there will be more pressure on parents to get schooling for their girls. And if that education is accessible, even more girls will get educated. It’s a slow process, but we must start somewhere. If we don’t start, nothing will ever change. Please help in the education of the underprivileged in India. Help us move towards a better world, one child at a time.