One of my favorite aspects about traveling is meeting feminists from all corners of the world. While differing in a lifetime of culture and experience, we are bound together by a common cause – equal opportunity for all genders.
I had toured India for a month before I began work at Voice 4 Girls. Coming from Iceland where I have avidly fought for feminist issues through the years, I was excited to learn and apply my knowledge to a new cultural context.
But in spite of the multiple history lessons and tours I took in India, I found myself lacking an understanding of the diverse of Indian female experience. The narratives I was presented with in that first month were almost entirely male.
When I began work at Voice 4 Girls, these narratives were immediately challenged. At Voice 4 Girls I found an organization ready to take the crucial steps to empower women while recognizing both the hardship and beauty of women’s experiences in India.
I was truly inspired by the work of this organization and am adamant about the importance their initiative. Work such as that of Voice 4 Girls should be taking place throughout the world, educating our girls in Iceland and India. Girls can be housewives and girls can be our presidents. But we must equip them with the tools to deconstruct a society that tells them they cannot be both.
Working alongside the wonderful staff at Voice 4 Girls left me feeling valued and inspired. And with that, I thank you, Voice 4 Girls, for welcoming me into your team and for the tireless work you put into making society a better place for all.
The writer of this entry, Zoë Vala Sands, is an honors Major in Political-Geography at Dartmouth College, focusing on international crisis & human rights and development. She interned with VOICE 4 Girls during an exchange program through her university’s Women & Gender Studies Department and is currently studying the sociological impacts and roles of gender in Indian society.