“India is one of those few countries in the world where violence against women starts in the womb, before the girl is even born. “ Actress Richa Chadha said at a panel discussion on ‘Gender Based Violence in India’, reported by TOI. The event was held to commence the program for the ‘Justice Institute’ in association with the Avon Foundation and Vital Voices.
WATCH: Our Interview With Richa Chadha
Here goes Richa’s full criticism towards the society who mistreats women:
“India is one of those few countries in the world where violence against women starts in the womb, before the girl is even born. We have to overcome the hypocrisy in our culture. On one hand, we celebrate Navratri, nine days of fasting for the goddess, then Durga Pooja… All kinds of goddesses in India are worshipped and praised than in any other culture. But when it comes to our women, daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, we have a completely different standard. That has baffled me since I was a child.”
Yes, discrimination against women exists in our society. However, there are very few who dare to speak against it. Richa Chadha is one of the few. The double standards she was referring to was about the Indian mentality – we worship goddesses wholeheartedly, but as soon we step out of temple, we have hypocritical views towards women.
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The deplorable fact is that the cultural boundaries and the huge divide between people worshiping goddesses and neglecting women at the same time, is so deep rooted inside each one of us that this mentality will only change if we educate men on how to treat women and at the same time give girls a sense of confidence that they can achieve what they want in life. “Girls know they are at par… More than educating them we need to give them confidence that they can do whatever they want to in life. It is also about educating the men how to treat women. It stars from there. From the patriarch, the person in-charge of the power, who is conditioning everybody else to a certain way of life,” Richa rues.
Though it is difficult to change people’s mind-set instantly but still Richa is hopeful that the transition will happen one day. ‘It will take a lot of time because somewhere we are conditioned into thinking a certain way, it is a very large topic. It includes culture, religion, and tradition. It’s time we question some stuff. When somebody from outside questions it, we get defensive. But we must question our own culture and use the best aspects of it,” Richa acclaims.
We are empowered from your speech Richa. More power to you and to women.
Feature Image Credit: TOI
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