Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Bobby; a woman enpowerment worker from India
In India, girls from as young as ten can get married to a man of her parents' choice. Women are treated like commodities; once they have married, are treated like property. It is known that women are beaten, raped and even killed when in care of their husbands and their parents.
Experts have estimated that there are 100 million missing women. 100 million fewer women in the world than birthrates would project. That’s more women dead than all the men killed on battlefields in the 20th century, and more than all persons killed in the genocides of the 20th Century.
Walking into Bobby's shop I was greeted with a cup of chai and sat crossed legged on the floor the smell of incense filled the air. Bobby began to talk very fast and was extremely enthused that we were the first westerners to enter that day. We enquired about her business and she explained:
“I am an educated woman that I have a voice that I am willing to use it, I am privileged that I can speak English so I can communicate to tourists, what the Indian women have to go through.”
I sipped my Chai and smiled, slowly welling up feeling rather humbled to meet this amazing lady. She used her hands so expressively and passionately when she talked to me, and said,
“These women in the villages get a chance to now earn money. By them sewing textiles for me, I then sell them (fair-trade). Women in villages earn an income to get respect of their husbands, and his family, as they own her. I run this shop that helps women, men come in and touch me, this culture a women who runs a business is un-heard of especially in the country-side, So I then have to ring my husband, to chuck the man out, did you see him? He’s big”