22 October 2011

begin again

I want to dedicate this post to some girls across the globe. What they have done today is the epitome of happiness, liberation, and starting anew.
A group of almost 300 girls in India have had an official "renaming" today. Most of their names were the Hindi translation of the word "unwanted", or something close to it.
In India, there is a lot of sexism and in fact, people will kill female babies because they are not seen as important to society, like the male is. In recent years, the ratio of male to female has grown further apart than before, meaning there are less and less women in India due to violence and murders of women and girls.
And today (well, because of the whole International Date Line thing, it could be tomorrow there) they got to choose their own new names, ones that they would be proud of and ones they liked. Some girls chose the names of famous Bollywood actresses, while others chose the names of Hindu goddesses. It was really empowering for them, and one teen girl said that it made her feel better to have a name that was not shameful and one that she liked.
Can you imagine being named something like "garbage" or "useless"? And hearing people call you that everyday? I can't imagine how these girls live everyday getting such little respect and having to be called such lowly things.
But the good part is that change came about, and hopefully that 285 turns into all of India, and that in renaming, the society can change for the better so that women and girls are given the same respect as men.
After all, women are the reason that any humanity can exist. And hopefully everyone can see that.
To spread the word about it, post this story on Facebook or Twitter, or tell people you know. If knowledge is the seed, change is the tree.

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