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Break the cycle of bias
April 11, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
Break the cycle of bias
Bubbles Sabharwal
 
While we talk of gender equality in the outside world, it is important to bring parity in the way we bring up our sons and daughters. Often mental and emotional abuse perpetuated by too many women living under one roof can be as brutal as rape. Idle gossip and character assassination are as damaging!
 
The rape that occurred in December still haunts public memory, but what is worse are the stories that creep out daily in the newspaper of ongoing violence and bestiality and outdated laws that do not provide justice. There is a war out there.When you can see the enemy it is easier to fight him but here we are battling the beast within.
The beast within each of us that lives on secrets, lies, manipulates, envies, covets, makes the mind such a mess you can't find a way out of your own negativity. I understand misfits are born of hate, fear, self-loathing, abuse, but no matter how evil or low one can sink, you cannot knock all the goodness out of a human being. 

I always remember what my grandmother once told me: "No matter how dark the day, look up see the sky and see possibilities because in everything exists possibilities. Victory belongs to those who believe, those who believe the longest and those who have faith. Faith is the centrepiece of your home."

You can look as polished as ever on the outside but it is the inner polish that shines as you grow older. Courage, wisdom and compassion are the qualities that define you as a woman. Remember you weren't created to be a prisoner, you were built to impact society and be a torchbearer for the next generation.

So, I say to you: As women, we need to look out for each other and not trample each other. For starters, we need to give the girl child as much love, food, education and attention as her brother. We need to empower her and tell her she can live a life of her choice not what life chooses for her (or her father, or her brother or her husband). I was surprised to hear what my friend told me about her growing-up years. Her grandmother ordered her when she was young, "Fetch a glass of water for your brother... make sure he eats." Even at six years of age she had to fit into the stereotype of catering to the male.

This has to stop somewhere. Encourage your daughter to dream; life may chase them away, but then again she may hang on to one! As mothers-in-law, we must treat our daughters and daughters-in-law with the same respect. In fact, we should teach our son the value of being a good husband; tell him that a man's good fortune shines through his wife and home. Often mental and emotional abuse perpetuated by too many women living under one roof can be as brutal as rape. Idle gossip and character assassination are as damaging!

When a conflicting situation arises, one tends to either fight back or flee or fight violence with violence. It's up to the mothers in the world to show the third option, to stand and fight for what is right, to bend the ground rules; to create change from within, to nurture a strong value system and show respect for each other.

A strong woman is the backbone of a strong family and ultimately of a strong nation. Believe it. Believe that you must be the change you want to see in the world.

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