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Raise Your Voice Break The Bias
Women still face prejudice, preconceptions, and discrimination in the modern era – even though we are already in the 21st century. Even today, women worldwide endure everyday bias, preconceptions, and prejudice.
In an increasingly divided world when biases and prejudices rise to the surface, women typically suffer disproportionally.
Everyday occurrences put ladies and girls at risk, especially those from economically disadvantaged areas, marginalized communities, religious minorities, ethnic groups, and so on.
With women and girls frequently bearing the burden of hatred – their bodies becoming the battlefield of a family or even a community’s pride and honor – these deep divides in lines of identification and ideology, common ground, and civil spaces are lost.
In this poisoned climate, we all need to raise our voice for #breakthebias, this year’s theme for International Women’s Day – and demand a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world.
Hence today, I am sharing a story of my life where I broke the gender bias.
As a child, I always was very naughty and unorthodox. I didn’t pay attention to my studies and attended classes just to participate in the school plays and extracurricular activities.
As months passed, unlike other children who started focusing on their goals and targets for their future, I was increasingly drawn to social media and activism though I had no clue what that meant.
It was not an easy task to convince my parents to allow me to join social media advertising, particularly when it comes to the negative image of society and break the bias. However, I was able to convince them and move on in my journey.
From driving to changing tires, from washing and polishing the car to getting the chassis changed at the service station I have done it all.
Breaking the gender bias was new to me as my father had never brought up me and my sister as a girl in fact he taught us to get smarter than the boys in every way.
He taught me to document my journey and talk about things that mattered to me such as gender equality, women’s empowerment, and breaking the gender bias.
My father broke the gender bias 52 years ago. He had distributed sweets to the whole Army Hospital when I was born 52 years ago and he did the same when my daughter was born. Daughters were not a welcome sight then.
I remember my mom telling me that when I was born papa’s dept was all gloomy and they thought that papa would be unhappy too that’s why he went home early. On the contrary, Papa had gone to the mithaiwala to buy sweets for everyone because I was born.
A couple was considered unlucky if a daughter was born. The whole dept was surprised as he celebrated the birth of a girl child. He led by example and taught people to break the bias and celebrate as Laxmi had come and that a daughter is as valuable as a son.
My mother broke the bias even before that when she joined AMC (Army Medical Corps) and was one of the 1st three women to join the army. Papa always told me that no matter what I did but as a girl and a woman I must be independent.
Even if that meant earning 1. He told me that in our patriarchal system it is a must for women to hold their ground and retain their identity. No compromise on self-respect but at the same time be humble and practice gratitude.
I am now 52 years old lady, and I am still fighting for what I believe in. Whether it is authoring my first book, quitting my job and investing in an educational startup of my own, adopting and taking care of terminally ill dogs I have faced resistance from my family.
I have encountered numerous challenges in my life and most of my resistance has come from my family members who instead of boosting me ahead have always tried to pull me back 10 paces but nothing has stopped me from achieving my goals.
I don’t say they do it because they consider us worthless but I guess they just want to coddle us and are more scared than us to take risks and accept challenges.
“You’ll get hurt
“Who’ll read your book?
” Why can’t you just be normal like others and sit at home?
“Why do you have to stir up the hornet’s nest?
“Are you mad! Going for a start-up at 52…
“Aren’t there enough sellers on amazon or in the market? Who’ll buy your pickles?
The list of questions is endless. But there is one thing that my father taught me… there are 1000 ways of not doing something and there is only 1 way to do something. YOU JUST DO IT. It may sound impulsive but it has always done me well every time.
Maa and Papa guided me through every walk of my life. I have been blessed to have been brought up by two independent and progressive people who have themselves broken the gender bias at every step of their life.
I remember my mom telling me that they had terminated the 3rd pregnancy in spite of knowing that the fetus was a boy. For my father, his 2 daughters meant the world to him and he didn’t feel the need to have a boy.
Ultimately the dreaded day came which every child shudders to think of. The demise of your parent. Even I wasn’t spared by destiny and papa passed away in my arms.
In the Hindu culture, the eldest son/grandson or the son-in-law or the eldest male relative performs the puja, lends shoulder on the final journey, and lights the pyre. In my case, I am my father’s firstborn.
So breaking all the rules and traditions I took the major decision that I shall be performing the last rites, mukhagni, leading the prayer, and immersion of the ashes and my sister would assist me all the way.
Many a time I miss my father who was a pillar of strength for me always inspiring me to push my limits and believe in my dreams.
Papa always taught me to be independent in taking my decisions, manage my finances and move on in life regardless of who would support me or not support me. He taught me to be myself.
I was lucky to have a father like him… but many women are not so lucky. To them, I would like to say that remember who you are.
You are only second to the creator and none else. You are empowered and don’t need anyone to empower you. Look into the mirror and look deep in your eyes and rediscover yourself. Only you can break the bias.Ranjeeta Nath Ghai
One More Time
One more time
As the stars and the moon glared,
Born with a body of a woman, and
Plagued by boundless desires
She crash lands into a world of pain.
From being a woman of substance
To being an object of obsession
She’ll silently endure it all
And the sincerity of her laughter
Shall touch the core of your existence.
And one more time,
The beauty of being a woman
Will be reflected in her soul.
As the hour of vengeance would descend
She’d be busy empowering herself yet
Forever battling the eternal thirst for perfection
Even when extreme weariness follows,
From a virtuous woman to being a vamp
She would have lived it all.
Stolen from the mirror would be those precious hours
When she would let down her hair even if, just for a few moments
With the practised motion
Of her hands and nimble fingers
And then without caring for frivolous
One more time,
She would wreak havoc upon the hearts.
Gentle. Treacherous. Deceitful or delightful;
Just how would you like to describe her touch?
Often taken for granted,
And treated like a passing shadow
She chooses to remain beautiful,
Even after life has scarred her so horrifically on the inside…
The warmth and serenity of her smile
Shall surround you wherever you go
And you’ll find yourself no match for the
Fiery eyes that will set you ablaze
And one more time
The gentle breeze of springtime
Shall whisper your name as the seasons’ change.
O Mistress of hearts!
An hourglass figure or not
One more time
You would have conquered it all
You would have conquered it all…
What Is Mukhagni?
Traditionally, Hindus believe in disposing of a person’s body through cremation. However, the body will stay in the home until the cremation occurs.
Most Hindu funerals have three parts:
A wake or funeral in the family’s home immediately upon death
A cremation ceremony (MukhAgni) at the cremation site
A ceremony (Shraddha) to help the soul of the deceased enter the next world
The actual funeral takes place in the home immediately upon death. Once the body has been moved from the home, the MukhAgni ceremony will happen at the cremation site.
‘Mukhagni’ is conducted by a Hindu priest and senior family members. In traditional Hindu funerals, only men attend the mukhagni, but modern Hindu funerals allow women to attend.
After a Hindu funeral, the ashes are scattered over a sacred body of water or a place of significance to the deceased. Most crematories allow for ceremonies to occur onsite.
Additionally, many crematories let family members view the cremation itself. The Shraddha ceremony typically takes place around ten days after the death occurs. It often lasts for an extended period and includes feasts and gift exchanges.
You Might Like To Read Other Essays
- Don’t Just Break The Glass Ceiling Shatter It: A Woman’s Perspective
- Indian Army Day Celebration Significance
- Armed Forces Flag Day and Significance
- Autobiography Of A Pen
- Essay On Environment Pollution
- Raise Your Voice Break The Bias
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