TODAY -

Women should not live in fear, but act with courage

Shobha Shukla *

Women should not live in fear, but act with courage
Women should not live in fear, but act with courage



"One day, when my first child was barely 6 months old, my husband kicked away the water and food I had served him. On asking him the reason, he started pulling my hair and thrashing me. I was stunned at his sudden violent behaviour. But this was just the start of a never-ending saga of domestic violence that continues till today", said 30 years old Lakshmina. She hails from a Dalit community in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. The only sister of four brothers, Lakshmina is illiterate. She did start her schooling, but one day, while going to school, she met with an accident and hurt herself. Her doting mother immediately stopped sending her to school, saying that she did not want to risk her daughter’s life.

At the age of 18, Lakshmina was married to a labourer. Her marital problems began soon after one year of married bliss. Her husband would come home drunk and start beating her for no apparent reason. The first time she was hit, Lakshmina went to her parent’s home. When she returned after two months, her husband pushed her in his room, held her by the neck and started thrashing her. She was saved through the intervention of her in-laws and neighbours. But the beatings continued- even after the birth of two more children. After every bout of violence, he would apologize and promise never to hit her again, only to forget it just too soon.

No excuse for abuse

He began spending more and more of his earnings on liquor. To make both ends meet, Lakshmina started working in the fields. But thinking that this would make her independent, he forbade her from stepping out of the house. When she resented, she was beaten black and blue. When she was seriously injured, her parents came and took her from one hospital to another, till she got well.

Lakshmina’s brothers wanted her to leave her husband for good and marry someone else. But she knew that no one would accept her with her three children (two sons and a daughter) in tow. She decided to stay in her husband’s home and continue to fight for justice, even though he wanted her to leave his house.

She was clear in her mind that, “Being his wife and the mother of his children, I have equal rights in his house and property. I too contribute in running the household. I am ready to be reprimanded if I do something wrong. But to be beaten without any reason, is something I will not tolerate. I will fight for my rights by staying here. Men must realize that anger and blatant show of power is not their prerogative. Marriage is all about having equal partnership.”

Some neighbours, told her to contact Hina Desai, Director of Sri Ramanand Saraswati Pustakalaya (SRSP)--an organisation that works to combat caste and gender biases in rural India. The support provided by Oxfam India has helped SRSP in advancing the fight against gender discrimination and motivating women to stand up against domestic violence.

SRSP helped Lakshmina file a police complaint, as well as a case of domestic violence against her husband. Under police duress, he promised never to misbehave with his wife again. But he did not keep his words.

He has no love even for his three children. Lakshmina recalls an incident that occurred 3 years ago: "Once, he literally snatched the food from their hands, saying that he will eat first. When my elder son (who was 12 years old at that time and was studying in Class 7 then) resented his behaviour, he hit him in the stomach. After this incident, my son refused to stay in the house. He left his studies and home and went to Chennai to make a living to help me financially. I feel very sad for him. His is an age to study and not to work. He sends money for me and for his siblings. But my husband accuses me of having earned this money by selling my body."

Earlier Lakshmina would beg for mercy from her husband when ill-treated. She would also run to SRSP for help. They would scold her husband and the police too would threaten to send him to prison if he did not mend his ways. He would say sorry and remain calm for 3-4 months, only to start his brutal behaviour all over again.

Change your mind, change your life

But long years of sufferings have made her strong and determined. She is no longer scared of her husband and does not tolerate his beatings anymore. Now if he hits her, she hits him back. She has learnt it the hard way that women should not live in fear, but act with courage. Fear is a sign of weakness. Women need to be strong from within and fight their own battles. No amount of outside interventions can alone help. The more one fears the more one is suppressed.

Belief triggers the power to do

God gave her courage and Hina Desai restored her self- confidence, feels Lakshmina. SRSP gave her INR 2000 and helped her open a bank account. She used that money to start her own business. Lakshmina shared with Citizen News Service (CNS): “We have formed a group of ten women to make and sell pickles, potato chips, ‘papads’, etc. Today I am earning myself. I am no longer financially dependent on my husband and so I am under no obligation to suffer his indignities. I will continue to fight my battle while staying in his house. I will not let him succeed in throwing me out.”

Lakshmina wants her children to marry only after they complete their education and start earning. She has also told her sons that if they ever misbehave with their wives (as their father did with her), she would stand by her daughters-in-law and would not hesitate to seek punishment for them if need be.

Lakshmina fights for the rights of other women too. She strongly believes that, “Women must raise their voices against injustice, and not take it lying low. It is human to err, but it is inhuman to become violent. Solutions to problems can be found through dialogues and discussions only. Men should be taught to respect their wives.”

Keep the promise

Let us not forget that governments of over 190 countries, including India, have promised to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, one of which is to achieve gender equality and end all forms of discrimination and violence against all women and girls. If we are to deliver on these promises of sustainable development and gender justice, lot more action is needed on the ground.

The upcoming 3rd Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF 2017) to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, would hopefully provide a platform to mobilize stronger action for dismantling economic, social and political systems that produce obscene levels of inequality and fuel violations of women’s human rights.


* Shobha Shukla wrote this article for e-pao.net
Shobha Shukla is the Managing Editor of CNS (Citizen News Service) and has written extensively on health and gender justice over decades. Follow her on Twitter @Shobha1Shukla or visit CNS: www.citizen-news.org
This article was posted on August 13, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Mission XI football @ Andro :: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @ Mahabali :: Gallery
  • Blood Donation for 13 August:: Gallery
  • Mahabali Temple , Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • Graphic & plastic arts of Zeliangrong #3
  • Silence :: Poem
  • Sport Univ: Promises kept but corruption?
  • Job requirements at SKY Hospital
  • Jobs @ National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • I-Day Celebration at BJP State Office
  • Celebrations amid militant boycott call
  • 3 Manipur terrorists arrested in Delhi
  • NSCN/GPRN condemns raid
  • NSCN-K signing hinges on cross-border..
  • Meira Rally on Patriots' Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata :: Gallery
  • 26th NAMA Convention Report, Houston, TX
  • Forming Plurals in Manipuri Language
  • Mammography and frequently ask question
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • NPF Office Bearers reaffirm support
  • DAN Co-ordination Meeting Resolutions
  • India and China: From rivalry to enmity
  • For better tomorrows
  • Security forces round up NSCN (IM) cadres
  • Survey 'finds' jumbos in Manipur
  • Kirti Chakra for brave major
  • President medal for IPS officer- Robin Hibu
  • 13 August @Hicham Yaichampat :: Gallery
  • Achingliu, Haokhulan, Hiyaichenbi: eMing
  • Patriots' Day @ Hojai, Assam :: Gallery
  • Protest: malpractices of MPSC :: Gallery
  • On MPSC scam & people defending it
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Delhi
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Hojai
  • Lajong U-12 to represent India in BRICS
  • Learn something from 2015 experience
  • The district creation headache
  • State Thang-Ta Competition :: Gallery
  • Search operation [Aug 12] :: Gallery
  • 13 August Patriots' Day : Read all about it
  • Thangal General : The Patriot
  • Proxy examination and Wrong politics
  • Women should not live in fear ....
  • Summer Thoughts :: Poem
  • NPF Youth serve Ultimatum to Rio
  • A slap on the face of Christianity
  • U-Morok @ Shirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Dangers of 'Trial by Media' & the MPSC
  • Is Culture of insensible activism taking root
  • Meiteilon never been Tibeto-Burman
  • Mechanized threshing of foodgrains #2
  • ZSUB Foundation Day, Fresher's Meeting
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Natural Body Building #3 :: Gallery
  • National Handloom Day @ GHY :: Gallery
  • Chirom Indira shine in hearts of NE Weavers
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Investigate killings as ordered by SC
  • MSTC CMD met with CM of Manipur
  • Conspiracy behind the toppling game
  • Armed groups attack..a human right abuse
  • Drawing Competition at Khengjoi, Chandel
  • Govt firm on protecting indigenous people
  • Suspension of Operation term extended
  • Rs 100 cr allotted to study NE floods
  • Save the indigenous people cry : Valley..
  • A matter need to ponder
  • Earthen wares of Ningthemcha Karong
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #2 :: Gallery
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #3 :: 360 ° View
  • XXVIII State Thang-Ta Competition 2017
  • India's HLPF review of SDGs & Manipur
  • Robotics as career options
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Rejoinder Issued By Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Hard facts of political crisis (Nagaland)
  • Kuki talks interlocutor appointed
  • Viewing through one's community
  • Darkening shadows of doubt
  • Ziumi village, Maram Landscape:: Gallery
  • Inter School Handball Tournament :: Gallery
  • The Proud Bamboo Tree :: Folk Tale
  • Populated Attitudes :: Poem
  • Marijuana, Mahadev and Maneka
  • Notice for MSc Biochemistry Admissions
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Assam edition of NE India Fashion Week
  • Kipgen pledges 'Zero Tolerance' crimes..
  • NTC reaffirms inclusive Naga settlement
  • Being different from Cong Govt
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Hanuba-hanubi paan thaba :: Funga Wari
  • ... All The Flowers Gone? #1 :: Gallery
  • Need to bust racket running inside MPSC
  • Will PM Modi betray Assam in No ST, no rest
  • State Level Essay Writing Competition
  • RIST Condolence Function at MU
  • When we stumble and fall
  • Customer Care Executive @ basicP, Imphal
  • Petition for Disqualification of 10 MLAs
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Rape of small newspaper
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Jhulon Nupi Pala Phamsak :: Gallery
  • TR is CM by technicality sans Legality
  • One Day in Heaven :: Poem
  • Libraries Vs Google: Are we heading there
  • ..for electrical distribution rearrangement
  • Plea to PM for 'inclusive solution'
  • Review call for Loktak power project
  • Lessons to learn from CCpur: public hygiene
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • The dawn of cricket in Manipur
  • Lumbini Leikolda Shat-houba Leirang
  • Workshop on MU Reservations held
  • Job posting at C-DAC Silchar
  • Lafikul murdered to stir communal tension
  • Wayward rules of law
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #1 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #4 :: 360 °
  • Admission for B.Ed at Manipur University
  • The Evening Blues :: Poem
  • A village called Nbena :: Book Review
  • Employment Generating Hands on Skill
  • Unnatural death of Sainik School student
  • Condemns killing of KNO/KNLF leader
  • AR conducts Pre Recruitment Training
  • Makeshift sheds at Lamphel
  • For a clean future generation
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #2:: Gallery
  • CM referring to ST Comm is ultra vires
  • VIP culture out, VVVIP culture in
  • Be an unchained raindrop :: Poem
  • Holistic education : Trends & challenges
  • Jobs - Going Officers Pamjei
  • Providing Various Health Benefit Plans
  • larification to Tokheho's recollections
  • Taxation check posts on NHs removed
  • Reveal Framework Agreement to public..
  • SoO groups in the news for wrong reasons
  • Confession
  • Nongbrang, bank of Thoubal River :: Gallery
  • Pukpha Fest @Tamenglong :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at UN, NYC : 1 Aug
  • Free Computer Course by KEN @ Imphal
  • Where is the justice in mob justice
  • Ishu : Feature Film in Assamese :: Review
  • Flood: State efforts are too little too late
  • Crisis within NPF unfortunate : KG Kenye
  • decision-making body of NPF resolve: 2 Aug
  • NPF Legislature Party Statement : 2 Aug
  • ..honoring martyrs by raising Tri-colour
  • ..strong Opposition: Cong MLA striving hard
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #3
  • Khongjom War Memorial #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Oops! They've Done It Again!
  • Photography: Career through lenses
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Chemical Ecology: Info for college/Univs
  • Jobs - Nursing Aides in Singapore
  • NPF responds to MLAs' demand
  • Manipur protests detention of trucks
  • Overlooking one's own Cabinet decision
  • Potential of our state
  • Drinking joints in a dry State : Liquor tragedy
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #2:: Gallery
  • Meetei bears more tribal characters ...
  • The slumbering Beauty :: Poem
  • Selected to Global Shapers Imphal Hub
  • NPF Legislature Party Meeting on 31st July
  • Indo Myanmar Post Level Meeting at Onzia
  • Notice: Employment Exchange Imphal East
  • The unintended windfall
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #2:: Gallery
  • Hepatitis C is upto 95 pc curable
  • Sit-in-Demand : ST Demand Committee
  • NE lured into life of modern day slavery
  • Public Behavior; Hard Nut for New Rulers
  • Have you seen the Cacti :: Poem
  • NPF suspend and dissolves
  • Police na maheiroi singda kahenba..
  • PM likely to visit Manipur next month
  • Fishing community..sustainable livelihood
  • In the news... CCpur at the epicentre
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #1:: Gallery
  • Manung Kangjeibung, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #4
  • 4 years is a long time in politics
  • North East imbroglio fleeting opportunity
  • Aviation Network between NE & BCLMV
  • Press Park to come up soon in Manipur
  • India-Myanmar rail project yet to be ..
  • AFSPA in the House
  • 1st Mao Market day @Nagamapal:: Gallery
  • Sentence Particles in Manipuri Language
  • ILP : Students protest [27 July] :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon #2 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #3 :: 360 °
  • Nomination for State Journalist Awards
  • Loktak Lake & Manipur in ecological disaster
  • Modi: Man who oils digital India :: Poem
  • Recruitment at IP Infotech, Waheng Leikai
  • ..after 20 years: No justice in 'mob justice'
  • Good governance perspectives
  • Rare historical stone inscription #1
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #1:: Gallery
  • Huidrom Kirankr- Fellowhsip for Thang-Ta
  • Noises of the Silence #2
  • RIST popular talk 30- Electronic structure
  • Nutrition & dietetics as career options
  • In the Good Old Days :: Poem
  • NPF Presidential Address : 25th July 2017
  • Bid to find haven for ponies
  • Mao Market in Imphal! More than trading
  • Assembly reveals activities of past govt
  • Ethoi Oinam (Actress) #2 :: eRang Photos
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #2 :: 360 ° View
  • To the Mosquito :: Poem
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #1:: Gallery
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • SPONSORED ADS