The moving story of Pakistan's leading child rights activist Malala Yousafsai not only captured the imaginations of people the world over, but also inspired many to reflect on ways and means to safeguard the rights of the girl child.
“This young school girl has shown remarkable strength as a defender of the educational rights of girls. I salute her spirit and hope we all find the Malala in us and help reduce the woes of the girl child,” Dr Punita D Singh, academician and musicologist, told HT.
Singh was addressing “Let Her Speak”, a discussion where women achievers from different walks of life raised their voices against the plight of women in the country, on Saturday.
While raising the topic of atrocities against women in India, these women stressed that the girl child faces rampant discrimination by society. “From barbaric acts to gentler but equally harmful ones, women her face it. We must promote, protect and enforce legislative framework and laws to help them. We must be the change we want to see,” said former captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team, Anjum Chopra.
According to the 2001 census, the child sex ration (ages 0-6) fell, from 945 females per 1000 males, to an all-time low of 927. It is also reported that a whopping 50 million females have lost their lives to systematic gender discrimination in the country.
For former Mrs India International Richa Sharma it is important that women take their rights seriously to improve their state. While lauding initiatives like Save the Girl Child and shows like Satyameva Jayate, Sharma said a lot more must be done to secure every woman in India.
“I would ask women of all ages and social strata to step up and raise issues that affect them, to help find solutions to everyday struggles. Small steps lead to bigger triumphs,” said the mother of a nine-year old and teacher.