Dear (Asian) Parents,
We understand your concern. We too are disgusted, outraged and appalled at not only the apathy but the handling of women’s safety in India.
We’ve watched the documentary on women’s safety in India and we have our own personal experiences to go by. We know why you don’t want us travelling alone but we also know that it’s more detrimental to a society to live in fear.
A country where people are living in fear is a country immobilised.
Preventing your daughters from being independent is counter-intuitive; in a country where female equality is still being challenged, teach your daughters to stand up for what is right:
Encourage the education of India’s resident and non-resident daughters.
Encourage them to be brave and embrace independence rather than have them shrink away into fearful subservience and leading them to believe they are not worthy of this fight for justice.
We know we are different from our brothers; we understand that biologically we have been built differently which may make us less physically able in some respects. But don’t try to deny us the power of our minds.
Give us some credit.
We know that there is a difference between being responsible and being careless.
We know that certain areas should be avoided when travelling alone (and no, travelling alone, though not always ideal, may at times be necessary).
Acknowledge that we plan ahead of time, our route home and help us to grow into independent women that can make educated and responsible decisions: to have fully charged phones, to update our whereabouts including license plates whenever necessary and to encourage travelling with companions.
Remember we have voices, don’t try and squash them too.
We want freedom for the homeland and more than anything we want to rid it of its tarnished cloak of shame.
Parents, encourage us to make the right choices and help us be brave.