And I stand up for myself

Growing up in a country where there are so complications just because you are a girl is a challenge. However, it seems like there are different versions of this complications, these challenges all around the world from the most developed to the least developed ones. I belong to a country where woman is both Goddess and Witch where mensuration is a sin and a fetus is aborted if it is a female. The cult of good woman hood is measured on the same basis like around the world. If you are a misfit ~ you are a whore. However, the gradual development of the society and education as well as wave of communication has empowered both men and women of Nepal and slowly the society is changing. Yet, something that has been deeply embedded in the society for thousands of years ~ hardly change.

When I see my 63 year old aunt struggling to write letters of Ka, Kha , Ga ( Devnagari Script ) in the dim light of my room. I remember my grandfather who educated his three sons and never let the other three daughters to go to school. I can see her yearning for education, yearning to write and understand the world. But she cannot do that and I get frustrated on her behalf. What was the reason of not sending you school? I ask her and she replies we always thought if our brothers will be educated they will be big and will be enough for us, that is what our father said. I frown. I just frown.

On Thursday Oct 09, US Embassy in Nepal hosted a wonderful Google Hangout on the occasion of International Day of The Girl with the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine M. Russell from State Department, Dr. Anju Malhotra from UNICEF and girls like us from Jakarta and Cairo. The session was such a powerful and intriguing that it made me think so much of education, girls and empowerment around the world. Time and again Ambassador Russell emphasized on how much education is important for standing up, how much it is necessary for changing our own future. She said that the issue of girls should to be part of discussion in policy; family and the issues should be brought to table. Dr. Malhotra said, “Magic Bullet in development is education”. The hangout with these two powerful women was powerfully moderated by Monique Coleman who has been continually working in the similar field of empowering girls around the world.

How wonderful it was to get connected with the girls in Jakarta and Cairo!!! And the questions they posed and the issues they raise were so common to us, so much like us. Everyone had same similar experience of being a girl, the problem of silence, the problem of disparity just because we are girls, the problem of beauty, the difficulty of tackling gender based violence and so on. What an inspiration was Amb Russell who said she was very shy at the beginning but she forced herself for speaking up and asked all of us “Find a vehicle for your wish”. She also shared her experience of meeting the women submitters from Nepal who are planning to climb highest peaks in the world. She mentioned the power and courage of Nepali woman. Also, time and again she mentioned about a Malawian girl who is fighting for child marriage in her country.

While I return home with an interaction with such a variety of women around the world, I kept on thinking about the International Day of Girl ~ how to make this meaningful one. How can I be part of this whole? How can I contribute for making the lives of each and every girl meaningful in this world? I moved through facebook, twitter and tweeted my #GirlHero. Yet, my heart didn’t satisfy until I sat up and thought that I should write and share my experience of being part of such a wonderful discussion that connected us to wonderful women across the world. Like Amb Russell said, I am also going to find a vehicle for my wishes ~ here is it writing is my vehicle for celebrating this wonderful feeling of being a woman and being part of this whole global scenario.

Thus, I returned home with a feeling that I can stand up for myself and for hundreds and thousands of girls around the world.

Kudos to all the Girl Heros of the world ~ Kudos to mothers who ate half plate for the child, sisters who didn’t go school for brothers, wives who chose to be home for taking care of the house. Kudos to women who broke away all the shackles and boundaries and chase their future, wrote their own future. You all paved the way for us ~ and I will not fail but stand for myself.

Let’s educate each Girl of the World ~ Happy International Day of Girl.

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11 Responses

  1. Written from heart! 🙂

  2. Very true !
    Be very strong – Good luck !

  3. Thank you so much for reading me.

  4. Thank you Kishor

  5. Generally I don’t learn article on blogs, however I would like
    to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so!
    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great post.

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  7. This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have
    found something that helped me. Cheers!

  8. You are wonderful writer, no doubt and, what an honor it was to see a part of your blog post covered in today’s (October 20) the Himalayan Times!

  9. Feels great to have your comment here Amod Sir. Thank you for encouragement.

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  11. Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great work.

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