By Lisa, VOICE Intern
Before coming to India, I heard all the bad news about being a woman here.
– Women face some sort of sexual harassment on a daily basis.
– Women are killed over dowry disputes.
– Women avoid traveling alone, even during the day, because of safety concerns.
These are just a few of the discouraging realities faced by women in India. However, this harsh reality is not the only reality of Indian women. On other end of the spectrum, women empower themselves and each other. In particular, I have experienced many instances of women watching out for and protecting other women.
One evening, my friend and I were riding the bus back to our university. During this long bus ride, a man decided to stand behind my friend much closer than necessary. Though there was not a lot of space to stand on the crowded bus, standing that close to her was not necessary. There was plenty of room behind him! My friend felt very uncomfortable, but did not say anything. Another female passenger on the bus, however, had plenty to say. She berated the man until he moved somewhere else. Huzzah!
This was a small though very much appreciated instance of a woman watching out for others. The victories of united women can be even greater.
About a month ago, there was an attempted kidnapping of a female student by a former male student and his friends at the Hyderabad Central University. On this night, the men tried to force the woman into their car. Fortunately, several women in a nearby hostel heard her cries and rushed over to help her. Not only did these women stop the kidnapping and rescue the woman, but they also completely totaled the car of the kidnappers. They even were able to prevent the men from escaping while waiting for the police to arrive.
The next day, the university erupted in protests over the attempted kidnapping. Not only was this a hot topic on campus, but the incident made it to the news. Still, the story didn’t seem to spread too far beyond the city. And so, I’m writing this blog about what happened on my university’s campus so that you know too. Please, spread the word!
Being a woman comes with a unique set of difficulties. However, these difficulties don’t have to be faced alone. When women unite, whether in the face of small difficulties or extreme dangers, the possibilities are infinite!