Stop using different yardsticks for measuring up boys and girls

Stop using different yardsticks for measuring up boys and girls
Kulsum Mustafa

For teenager Nazia, domestic violence does not just amount to physical torture, but also means the continuous denial of the basic right to be oneself. Treasurer of the children’s wing of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), Nazia is totally against early marriage of girls. She demands equal treatment and opportunity for both the sons and daughters.

Nazia was part of the panel that addressed media persons on the rights due to children and how they have been trampled upon. She was speaking at the bi-monthly Media for Children event, jointly organized by Media Nest and UNICEF on second and fourth Friday afternoon. at Uttar Pradesh Press Club.

She stressed in her presentation that girls should be given all those Rights which are enjoyed by their brothers. This should include the Right to education and the right to chose when to marry.

“A highly prejudiced society has made some rules for girls which it wants to force down the throat of the girl child- this must be stopped at all cost. Different yard sticks should not be used for sons and daughters,” Nazia said.

BMMA is holding its third National Convention in Lucknow on October 11, and through its children committee it will raise the vital issue‘ HAQ MILEGA KAB ?” ANYAY KE KHILAF BAAL COMMITTEE (When will we get our rights? Children committee raises voice against injustice).

Speaking on the occasion, one of the founder members of BMMA, Ms Zakiya Soman said that BMMA is not a registered body but an upsurge of people working towards empowerment of community through women and girls. She said while the membership of the BMMA is 70 per cent Muslim women, the rest 30 per cent comprise all those who are sensitive to the issue and wish to empower Muslim women. She urged Muslim women to fight fear and inequality in their own life before taking up cudgels for others.

Another senior Panellist Ms Khatoon Sheikh, convenor Maharashtara wing of BMMA who has worked very closely with Muslim women and children for the past several years said that unless women are made aware of their rights and learn to fight their battles no lasting change can be brought in. She recalled as how at one of the training and sensitization session in Maharashtra one girl picked up a photo book page which was totally dark. When asked why she did so the girl said with tears in her eyes. “Because that is what my life appears.”

“If this is the mindset of a teenager how it will become when she grows older and has to share the burden of household responsibilities, “ asked Ms Sheikh
. Naish Hasan, founder member said “BMMA demands social, economic, political, civil, legal and religious rights for all Muslims.”

Kulsum Mustafa

(The author is a senior journalist and Secretary-General of Media Nest)

Published in:
Citizen News Service (CNS), India/Thailand
Elites TV, USA