We celebrate the National Girl Child Day on the 24th of January. A day where our government aims to create awareness about the inequalities that a girl has to face in our society. There are many campaigns and awareness programs along with specific government programs that focus on how we can make our daughters stronger individuals with equal opportunities.
We all know the difficulties that small girls have to face due to age-old societal norms. There have been considerable amounts of improvement, however, a lot is yet to be done and implemented. Today, we are moving fast ahead in all realms of life and all of it would be a failure if we cannot practice inequality and do justice to the girl child.
The problems start right from home. Many families in rural and urban setups assume that girls eat less than boys. The boys of the house are fed with higher proportions of food as compared to the girls. Many families still think that the girl is meant to be married off and hence education will not add ample value. It is these thoughts and ideas that often create multiple barriers for the child. So much so that the girl often develops insecurities at times.
Today, we talk about how we can empower our girls to make them independent and strong individuals.
- It is always 50-50!
Let us forget all the inequalities people of the past set for the girls. Every girl today is as good as every boy. There should never be any differentiation between the two. The girl will get her education from the same school the boy gets it from. Clothes and food should be of the same quality and proportions. Yes, biologically boys and girls differ. We should definitely recognise the differences, but we should never let a girl’s biology become a barrier to her growth.
- Equal understanding of roles
Some people teach the girl to make rotis, while the boys are allowed to play cricket with their friends. Why can’t we think of a society where boys and girls are both taught how to make rotis and both are allowed to play cricket. This is equality. We are in the 21st century and we should stop associating girls and boys with stereotypical roles. Girls should be allowed to go out and work outside and boys should also be given the choice to stay home if they feel like it. It is only when we give both girls and boys equal roles will we be able to assure an equal world. Let us look beyond the stereotypes.
- Looking beyond looks
For centuries together, girls are expected to look a certain way. Their physical looks and traits are given way too much importance. They are asked to dress up a certain way. Every dress they wear is often judged upon. This kind of thought has to undergo radical change. Girls should be given the freedom to look the way they feel like. Their dress choices or makeup or anything else should not be considered to judge their characters or personalities. Their likes and choices are to be respected because they are an important part of our society and they deserve this freedom.
- A suitable environment
Young girls will learn from their surroundings. They will understand how women are being treated by noticing their mothers and elder sisters. Change is a gradual process and it will be passed on down generations. Today, if a woman is treated with respect, tomorrow her daughter will have the assurance of a safe and equal society for her. Merely reading about revolutionary thoughts will not solve the problem. We have to practice it daily until we see change happening around us. It is certainly going to be difficult, for people will take time to understand. But, we must preach and practice what we truly believe in.
- Give them examples
There are so many women personalities in our own country who have broken their barriers and have succeeded in achieving their dreams. Politicians like Indira Gandhi and Jayalalithaa, Singers like Lata Mangeshkar and M.S. Subbulakshmi, Space Scientists like Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, Sports Players like Mary Kom and P.V. Sindhu and there are so many others in so many fields, who have succeeded. Girls should be taught about these success stories. This will give them inspiration and will bring the change we seek. There will be more women who will lead this society with their revolutionary ideas and that will be the day when every girl child will truly taste equality.