Doctor: “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”
Family members: “Thank you doctor.”
On the inside, they’re probably thinking: “Oh god, it’s a girl – so we should be ready for her ‘marriage expenditure’. We should give her good values and culture so that she can bring name to our house when she goes to her husband’s house.”
Soon after the birth of a girl child, these are the two main things parents and family members start thinking about and doing in most Indian families. I feel disheartened to say this, but in most parts of India, a girl’s life is limited to her marriage.
Some parents feel that a girl child is a burden, as in the future, they have to spend a lot of money on her marriage and dowry. The education of the girl child is not supported in many parts, as they feel that it is not necessary. “Ultimately, she has to lead her life cooking, doing household chores and raising children,” they argue.
There are also some families that feel happy at the birth of a girl child as they think of her as a reincarnation of the goddess Lakshmi. They will give her a good education and support her in all aspects. However, the aim of these parents is to also ensure that their daughters become ‘well-settled’.
Every parent starts saving money for their daughter’s marriage soon after her birth and teaches her all the necessary skills which would be required for her to be a good housewife.
This way of life is not wrong, in my opinion. Ultimately, they want their daughter to be happy and well-settled. But in this process of preparation, they often forget that even their daughter is also a human being. They forget that girls are not meant only for marriage. They forget that even girls want to lead their life with freedom, dignity and respect.
Whatever parents teach at home should not only ensure that it helps them in their marriage and married life. Life would start feeling like a coaching class then. Even girls have their dreams to achieve. Teach them to be bold and confident to face the society, not just be a goody-goody housewife. Treat them equally and give them the same values that are given to a boy. Let them also enjoy their life. Marriage is just a part of life. It is not the only life. If boys have the right to live their life and achieve their goals, then girls should also be given a chance to have the same right.