A princess without a kingdom

Everytime, a female child is born into a family, she’s given the most beautiful nicknames from doll, goddess and most commonly princess. Princesses blessed with luxury, given everything she could ever want, with power and prestige. In society, female children are treated far from the likes of the Disney princesses people see on screen. Every odd is stacked against women, especially from birth. From female foeticide and female infanticide being prominent in India to not getting the same opportunities as her male counterparts in the workplace. Society is full of double standards and these double standards are always against someone who doesn’t fit into the typecast of a “normal male”.

Before even being given a fair chance at life, society lose many female children because of female foeticide and female infanticide. These practices exist due to years of patriarchy enforcing many systems like dowry etc that do not favour women.

India has one of the highest female foeticide incidents in the world. The female child population in the age group of 0-6 years declined from 78.83 million in 2001 to 75.84 million in 2011. During the period 1991-2011, the child sex ratio (0-6 years) declined from 945 to 914.

The first ever global study on the issue on Female infanticide, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that female infanticide for son preference due to variety of reasons is a worldwide phenomenon with 1.5 million female foetuses being aborted every year.

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The worst type of issues women face are the violence against them. From sexual assault to domestic violence and other types of violence, most of these crimes are committed by the perpetuators solely because the victim is a woman. Most of these crimes are incredibly gruesome and end up killing women and children but the worst part is that the victims are very rarely given justice. Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually being someone known to her.

Sexual assault can result in death and a lot of both mental and physical trauma. This can take years and years of therapy to make the victim feel normal. Many victims of sexual assault end up committing suicide because of PTSD and depression as they cannot go on with their lives normally again. They are often ostracized from society and can be forced to marry their rapist or abuser just to save ‘honour’.

It took years and years of protests and revolutionary movements for women to gain voting rights and the first country to do so was New Zealand in 1893. This goes to show that the opinion of women was only taken into consideration recently. Whereas men were allowed to freely voice out their opinion for themselves and make decisions for women.

Women are not given the same opportunities for education. Families end up investing in the education of their sons without consideration of their daughters.

Women need education in order to be self-sufficient but without the necessary qualifications it is difficult for her to rely on herself. Even the work women do at home, caregiving and running the family is looked down upon and not taken as seriously as a corporate job.

One of the biggest issues women of today face is patriarchy, because a woman can be the most competent person for the job but because a man is also up for the same position, he will be favoured for the very same job. Similarly a man and a woman earn very differently for the same job, only because of gender bias but when other factors of discrimination like race, caste, sexual orientation etc are noticed the gap between men and women further widens.

For people who love to call their daughters princesses and goddesses, society treats her worse than how we treat animals.

This treatment of women being used as a stepping stone to satisfy all the needs of men, especially men in power has got to stop. Women are slowly making strides and changes into the world and have always been campaigning for equal rights in various movements from the widespread feminism movement to campaigns like MeToo where women talk about their experiences of sexual assault.

The only way people can slowly but surely deal with this issue is with education of the masses, women getting more positions in power, stricter execution of existing laws and men treating women like fellow humans. This will take time and a lot of education as there are many nuances to sexism and misogyny, but until then the situation for girls all over the world will not change.

Women do not want to be princesses, they just want to be treated like humans.

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