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If Women Are Evil And Do Nothing In A Marriage, Then Why Do Men Still Marry?

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At a certain place of discussion, someone commented while discussing trends followed in marriages, “If a woman looks for a man with good income for marriage, then what is wrong with a man asking for dowry?” This question is wrong on so many levels. But again, I think this kind of question can be seen on social media, especially on Quora, Facebook or Twitter. I don’t know what answers are available on these sites, as I do not operate on these spaces for the sanity of mind, but what I can certainly tell is what must have ensued when the question was raised.

First of all, the scenario that was discussed in this context was “What do women do in married lives?” Many answered “Nothing more than cooking, cleaning, washing and yes, what they do best, producing children.” Next that was discussed was what men do when they get married? The answer was they raise a family by earning money. People do not understand that men earn and bring money, and along with that, food. This is nothing compared to what a woman does. He feeds her, keeps her alive and if he does ask for money/dowry in return, what is wrong with that?

Dowry System
“What do women do in married lives? Nothing more than cooking, cleaning, washing and yes, what they do best, producing children.”

Beyond this, some discussed the answers that were available online. One statement discussed distinctly was, “These days, women have so much expectations that they refuse good proposals.” The example was read in reference to this statement: “My very good friend, who is a doctor, was rejected by a girl who is an MA.” I think more examples were read, but then I tuned myself out of this whole debate, because what was being said and discussed was so disgusting that it will make you question the need for a relationship. The whole brigade of men were not leaving any chance to prove that women are evil, greedy and selfish. Having to listen to these vile comments and discussions, this day turned out to be the worst days of my life.

The attitude that these men displayed was that married men are the only ones doing all the hard work, simply because they earn. Now, I am struggling to even address this kind of mental apathy to the lives of women. For centuries, women have been stereotyped into evil creatures who lure men into bad things. But still, men marries or continues to desire to marry. Oh! But do not forget that in the minds of men, it is the fundament right of a man to have sex with a woman.

If you forget the villainy of marital laws and domestic abuse laws, especially Article 498a, and the number of cases of suicides and extortion of money in the name of alimony, then yes, a woman is cruel to a man. Women just don’t understand how cruel they are if they desire to have any expectations of life other than giving to men what men demand.

I can say or write a million things to counter this thinking. But what can you say to such men who won’t even understand that marriage in India means forsaking the feeling and right to consider your own parents as equal to your husband for considerations of various aspects of life, let alone prioritising your parents over your husband. As a woman, I cannot be punished for taking care of my parents, but legally, I can be granted divorce from my husband for not taking care of husband’s parents. A husband, by society’s standard, should treat his wife and parents equally.

What do you say to people who manipulate data and statistics to prove their version of a story? For comparing the data of suicides, does the population number of men and women matter? In the coming years, there will be definite shortage of women. If you don’t know yet, the population ratio for girls and boys between the age of 0-5 years was 911, as per the Census 2011.

Moreover, there is no account of more number of women being murdered or disappeared by victims of women. If statistics are taken into account, the number of women disappeared or murdered is quite high than the number of men murdered. But hey, who cares, right? Let’s latch on to the fear that the male population is declining.

Again, what do you reply to people who do not want to understand the realities of life? For whom, it only matters that women never do anything wrong to men and laws are so neutral to men and women that problems of men in real life get all the attention? Otherwise, a tragedy of a man’s life is a woman who is not punished for the atrocities she commits on the man’s life.

In spite of all this, a lot of men are struggling to get married in India and their struggle is so important that if they don’t get attention, then women are abominable. In next 20-25 years, when there will not be enough number of women for men to marry, what will Indian men do? They will certainly not accept that women population is less than men. But unlike China, they will not be able to purchase women from other countries like Pakistan either.

To men who see women desiring to have a better life after marriage as something hateful, please start living with your own in-laws, i.e. your wife’s parents, after marriage. Further, start changing your surname to your wife’s, then you can certainly claim that a woman looking for more capable husband is wrong.

At last, even today, men in the IAS, IPS other big roles do not come cheap to women marrying them, even if women themselves are equally capable as them. Men are never taught to look inwards and now, with new world, they will never look inwards. All they will do is vilify women and abscond their share of responsibility to be human in a real sense.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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