Books, Gender Equality and Freedom go hand in hand. Essentially in the same order. How?
When a person gets an education by way of books, they start to get ideas and start to form opinions of their own instead of blindly following what they are told to do. Education and books help one question things, things that previously were “Oh, but that’s how it is done for ages, so that’s how it should be done.”
It was through education, that I could get in touch with history, I learned about finances, I learnt psychology and mathematics, I leant the skill sets that would help me gain employment, I learned how to support myself, and what I liked, what I did not like. It was because of the education that I learnt how to stand up for myself and my rights, but most importantly, It taught me to read. And it was by reading, I could enter the minds of various other people, great men and women who poured their souls out in form of fictions and non fictions. It was via education that I can make up my own mind, and think for myself about what is right and what is wrong. This helped me question many things that previously were “just how it is supposed to be done”. I started questioning, and more I questioned, the less logical answers I got. Here are some examples:
Me: I am going to take marketing for specialization
My parents and family: Awsome!! What subjects?
Concerned Sundry relatives (CSR): Marketing? Is not that like…selling?
Me: Yup, but it has a lot more things in it too.
CSR: But, why don’t you take Human Resources?
Me: Coz I do not like Human Resourses as much as marketing
CSR: But, you are a girl, how will you manage that after you get married?
Me: Umm…so you are saying, that I should study what I do not like, so that the person I have yet not met, can have the convenience of having me at home while he may/or may not travel for business?
CSR: Learn how making good food, no matter how many degrees you get, you will have to cook for your future in laws.
Me: So, you are saying that no matter what a girl does, her worth is measured by how round her rotis are?
CSR: No, you got me wrong, I am all about treating girls and boys equally, but what I am saying is girls are natural at cooking, boys, they just aren’t
Me: So Sanjeev Kapoor and the rest of the gang on major cookery channels are what? Girls?
So, what I am trying to say here is, that with education, a girl comes to know her worth. But more importantly, she gets the skills that could provide her employment. She starts becoming independent and does not need a man to complete her (i.e. To provide for her financially).
And when this happens, she becomes more confident, and does not think of herself as less important. Thus, will try her best to maintain gender equality. So, more avenues will open up for both men and women. Both the genders will get freedom from what holds them back. Men will not have to burn themselves by being the sole breadwinners for the family and pretend to be emotionally empty all the time and women will not have to sit at home and cook and clean all the time.
People will be free to do what makes them feel happy, without thinking what the society will think of them.
Boys will learn how to healthily express their emotions, and girls will learn how to be more independent. And when two such individuals come to gather, they end up raising happier, well rounded children.
And then truly, the society will be free, and this will happen only when girls are given equal education as the boys. When instead of raising them as someone’s daughter in law, we raise the girls as my daughter, the society will truly be free.
As Malala puts it:
So, join with the Nation against Early Marriage in Breakthrough’s #Selfies4School campaign, which helps send young girls to school and help prevent early marriages, and do your part to give more Uma’s the strength to fly!
P.s. Here is Uma, the super girl who wears her dupatta like a cape and dreams of getting a better education:
Here is a video that they made, do have a look: