By Kiera Murphy
It’s been just over two months living in India.
There’s lots to love.
Then there’s lot to make the western female very frustrated. From the moment you walk outside eyes are glued to you. Everyone stares at me when I walk around campus or around Hyderabad. Don’t be astonished to find males scurrying for their cell phone to snap a picture of you.
I’m in a class at the University of Hyderabad on the main part of campus with a majority of Indian male students and when I even answer a question in class they chuckle and giggle like thirteen year olds.
Our International Student Hostel is tucked away in South Campus which is a solid thirty minute walk from where the other female student hostels are. Our building is surrounded by walls and protected by the most security than anywhere else on campus. We’re looked at as these precious exotic animals that no one can really get to know as people.
So when you combine immaturity with the desire of the unknown we’re the targets for sexual harassment. This past week we had a very real and scary incident. In the very early hours of the morning the International Student Housing that I’m staying in was broken into by a local male student.
He was able to break into three rooms of American Female Students and watched them sleep while he sexually stimulated himself. Severe investigation is underway and security has been tightened. As a group the other female students I’m living with have really banded together and are trying to make a change to the sexual harassment on campus.
It’s not okay for any of these kinds of things to happen to women anywhere!
I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to work with Voice 4 Girls because I think India needs a lot of help in the field of Women Empowerment.
One of the first times I met with some of the Voice Campers they told me that they learned how sacred their body was, like a temple that they must protect and that it should be respected. A beautiful thing for these girls to realize!
Camp teaches girls about their rights to their own body and about sexual education that most of them would have never learned about if it wasn’t for Camp Voice.
We can potentially be saving girls from serious sexual harassment situations or even rape! After experiencing sexual harassment and this huge obstacle Indian Women face first hand, I’m just glad I can be part of the solution of education by interning with Voice 4 Girls!