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The high rise buildings, modern skyscrapers, and tons of unexecuted fancy laws

aren’t the emblem of development for me if I still feel scared of taking a walk at

night or the thought of unleashing my potential to the fullest haunts me.

Growing up, I didn’t always understand the rules that my parents insisted on me.

It didn’t really make sense to me why people of my gender had to sit, speak,

behave, act and stand in a ‘certain way’. Now that I have grown up, I understand

and comprehend very well why my parents did all of that- so that their daughter

fits into the customs of what I call a toxic society, so that their daughter doesn’t

become the agenda of the gossip in the town. While several improvements in

propagating women-led development have been made, I still see the proverbial

glass to be half empty.

Dear, see the world through my eyes and you will know the pain.

We are taught to live with the patriarchy before knowing how patriarchy lives.

Since our birth, the only value-added goal of our lives, marriage is defined and

we raise our daughters to fit into a box for a person they have not even seen or

met. We are trained to align ourselves with the stereotypical images of a ‘woman’

that relate with obedience, compliance and ultimately, oppression. Why is

professing feminism and amplifying the voice of the oppressed just a matter of

seeking votes, or uplifting our social portfolios? Why is it that it’s the 21st

century and the newspaper headlines orient themselves on the axis of assaults

on women? Why is it the decade for fulfilling the UN SDGs and we have still not

figured out ways to give equal treatment to the population irrespective of

everybody’s gender, caste and religion?

Dear, see the world through my eyes and you will know the agony.

Development is a multifaceted concept that goes beyond economic indicators

and infrastructure because establishing a thriving society is about empowering

the oppressed population. Stop fitting women into a box, rather equip them with

wings of courage so that they can rise and shine. To all the people who do not

relate with the notions of feminism, it is a tool to empower, not overpower

women. I say it out loud that I am a feminist, and I believe in the power of

women as much as I believe in the power of anyone else. We just want to seek

equal opportunities and respect in the society and until this stage is not reached,

it’s not a struggle for women but a movement for humanity to accomplish.

Dear, see the world through my eyes and you will understand what it feels like.

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