In my village, women don’t have opportunities. They take care of their families, work in fields, but they are rarely an earning hand. Most girls don’t even pass Class 10th because the school for higher classes is too far. You have to travel to the closest town and since there is no proper transportation, you need to take your own bicycle. Most parents don’t allow their girls to travel alone as they are worried for their safety.
I used to think this is a problem confined to India. That we are the only ones who struggle with issues pertaining to women’s safety and discrimination. Then I went to the US for a “Women in Leadership” course; where I met students from all over the world. And when you talk to them, you realise that women everywhere face different kinds of problems. We are not alone in that.
The girls in my village and others like them around the country, and the globe, deserve better. And we as women need to talk more about these things to make a difference. I am still young, and when I go back to my village and try to talk to people about these things, they dismiss me often. Thinking that I am only a child. But I know one day, I will grow up and people will start listening. I want to study and learn and grow up to be someone who people will listen to. I want to make my voice matter. They have a term for it – feminist. I am proud to say, “I am a feminist.”
*Kalpana is a student of class 11th at VidyaGyan, Bulandshahr