#StandForTheSisterhood-Rishu

Have you faced any gender bias at home or in the work place?

I feel this space is too short to describe it all. It’s really shocking and it’s such a shame that even today women have to face gender bias at home and at workplace.

Is there anything that you think you can’t speak off openly, just because you’re a woman? If there was a her for him campaign would you stand up for men’s rights and support parity?

I won’t say that a man ‘shouldn’t’ do any particular thing that a woman can do, but yes, in my experience a man cannot be a mother but a woman can be both, a mother and a father, to her children. And of course, a man does not have the privilege to give birth, only a woman has this amazing life force energy! But yes definitely if there is a her for him campaign, I would love to support and stand up for men’s rights, we can grow and evolve only when women and men walk together and support ecah other at every step of the way. 

Rishu Chaudhry is a Osho Neo Reiki Facilitator and a Practitioner at Access Consciousness.  

#HeForShe-Ayaz

Do you think women should have access to places of worship?

According to me we have no right to stop women from worshiping at any place where she wanted to go for worship. We as being Muslims have no proper knowledge about Islam. Islam has given equal right to women for worship, but In some parts of world there is a big misunderstanding that they think that the women should not go out for worship. Why should we stop them when God has given equal right of worship for women?

(According to the Quran, men and women have the same spirit, there is no superiority in the spiritual sense between men and women. [Quran 4:1, 7:189. )

If there was a code of conduct for the way a man should treat a woman, what according to you should that code entail?

A man should make sure of the protection of every women  and should respect her and keep in mind  that a woman is also a human being like a man. She has  the right of freedom. Marrying a woman is not hiring a servant. Man has to care of his wife.

What is the one thing that you think a woman shouldn’t do that a man can?

There are certain things in Islam what women should not do like Prostitution, Drinking Alcohol etc.  There is a reason why women have been asked to wear a hijab. God knew  the mind of a man and tried to protect her from it. She would not need it if we could give  a safe environment to women and change men’s thinking about women. 

Name one woman you admire (other than your mother) and tell us why?

 I have to mention my mother. She is the back bone of my life. She is the one helps me grow up, gives me advice, takes care of me, shows me the right way, always support me greatly, and does many many things just for me. First is my mother. The second is my friend who is a photographer and a teacher. She is a fighter, is very brave and she never gives up. I want to follow her footsteps.

#HeForShe-Ayaz Ahmed

#HeForShe-Ayaz Ahmed

 

 

Ayaz is a graphic designer by profession, a devout Muslim and an adventure lover.

#HeForShe-Deepak

Do you think women should have access to places of worship?

Yes , because Equality exists globally.

If there was a code of conduct for the way a man should treat a woman, what according to you should that code entail?

The code of Humanity.

What is the one thing that you think a woman shouldn’t do that a man can?

There is nothing which a man can do and a woman can’t.

Name one woman you admire (other than your mother) and tell us why.

Mother Teresa-because she always felt that her thoughts, deeds and actions were between her and her God NOT between her and other human beings.

 

#HeForShe-Deepak Behal

#HeForShe-Deepak Behal

 

 

Deepak Behal holds a master’s degree from IIM and is the owner of Divine Protection-a business of a buying agent. 

 

 

#HeForShe-Abdul

Do you think women should have access to places of worship?

They should.

If there was a code of conduct for the way a man should treat a woman, what according to you should that code entail?

Don’t believe in special code of conduct, but need some special care in Indian conditions.

What is the one thing that you think a woman shouldn’t do that a man can?

Could not find any.

Name one woman you admire (other than your mother) and tell us why?

Anyone who dedicates their lives for needy people not for any political/religious/ business benefits.

#HeForShe-Abdul Jaleel

#HeForShe-Abdul Jaleel

 

 

 

 

Abdul Jaleel is a left liberal in politics and a Sufi by religion. He has enough good friends, is easy going and socially committed. 

 

 

#StandForTheSisterhood-Jessica

 Have you faced any gender bias at home or in the work place?

Yes. Gender bias is usually at home and the work place.

 

 Is there anything that you think you can’t speak off openly, just because you’re a woman?

Yes, I can’t talk back to some shameless men the way they can talk.

 

 What is the one thing you think a woman can do but a man shouldn’t? If there was a her for him campaign would you stand up for men’s rights and support parity?

I can’t think of anything. I would stand up for men too. I think equality is a must. 

 

Jessica Kar is a 36 year old interior designer. She’s the founder of Jist by Jessica Kar and a mother of two. 

 

#HeForShe-Mansumyer

 

Do you think women should have access to places of worship?

Yes, they should.

If there was a code of conduct for the way a man should treat a woman, what according to you should that code entail?

Take care of a woman’s safety and provide moral support for everything she wishes to do/achieve.

What is the one thing that you think a woman shouldn’t do that a man can?

There is nothing a woman shouldn’t do which a man can.

Name one woman you admire (other than your mother) and tell us why?

The Kurdish women in Syria, fighting the war for their homeland along with men, side by side.

 

#HeForShe-Mansuymer Singh

#HeForShe-Mansumyer Singh

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mansumyer Singh is a young lawyer and a fitness enthusiast. 

#HeForShe – Faraz

 

In India as far as access to places of worship is concerned it is only the religion of Islam which has a hitch, otherwise in all other religions the women generally go the places of their worship. But when we go into the fundamentals of Islam, nowhere does it discourage the entrance of women inside the mosques. What it discourages is praying in a mixed group with the men which have its own reasons. It is in India that we find a culture where the muslim women don’t go the mosque in general. Otherwise, if you go the Jama Masjid in Delhi, there is a separate section where women can worship.

If there was to be a code of conduct for the way a man should treat a woman it should exactly be the same for the opposite scenario that is a code of conduct for the way a woman should treat a man. This is so because there is no element of doubt that both men and women have equal rights. Just because physically men have more power does not give them a right to subjugate women.

As such there is nothing which a woman shouldn’t do which a man can. But as far as the Indian culture is concerned, women have a very dignified position in it. Indian mythology associates women to the Goddess of wealth, education, power etc. In such a scenario anything which degrades this dignity should not be done in general. But due to monetary reasons many such activities such as prostitution, dancing in bars, bar tendering etc. becomes unavoidable. One particular thing which comes to my mind which can be avoided by woman is sensual marketing of products through advertisement. This reminds me of one such advertisement of Hawkins pressure cooker by Mahima Chowdhury which is picturized on the song ‘Chandan sa badan’. In such kind of advertisements, nowhere the emphasis is laid on the quality, specifications etc. of the product but on the sensual quotient. This kind of marketing should be avoided and product based marketing should be done either by women or men.

The one woman I admire other than my mother is my late maternal grandmother. In her time, with a society dominated by men she led her life on her own terms. My grandfather passed away when my mother was just in her junior school. My mother, the youngest of all along, with my eight uncles, which makes it to a total of 9 children was raised successfully by my grandmother. She is the most literate woman I know in my life. Even though due to societal pressure she was not allowed to go to school after class tenth, she herself learnt many things and was very fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali. Even she sometimes used to teach us junior class mathematics. Successfully raising 9 children single handedly in such a situation where sometimes the condition as told by her was that of hand to mouth makes her my most admirable women.

 

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Faraz Farooqui stands up for her. #HeForShe, India.

 

 

 

Faraz Farooqui is an Assistant Manager at The Indian Oil Corporation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Women’s Day 2016

So much has changed since I was a little girl. More women work, many of my girlfriends are happily single, some live on their own, some with men and some with girls. We seem to be freer. The garb that was considered shocking twenty years ago is now considered fashionable attire. What we considered worth fighting for are not even issues anymore, at least for us Urban women. Extrinsically, things seem to be looking up for us. So why do we- the strong, independent, do as we please women, keep harping on the same issues, you may ask? Here is why.

We are still considered to be LESS THAN MEN! Don’t start rolling your eyes. You may think that female infanticide is an issue of the poor, but sex selective abortions are quite prevalent in the Urban scenario. The 2011 census shows that there are less girls in the cities than there are in the villages. In Mumbai and Delhi, the sex ratio is 853 and 863 respectively. For every 1000 boys in the cities of India (age 0-6) there are only 902 girls.

In the South of India, the statistics show that the prenatal sex selective abortions are less and in the North and West of India they are higher. States where the income is generated from the farmland, like Punjab and Haryana, show the highest number of  sex selective abortions. The child sex ratio of Punjab is 846 and Haryana 834. In fact, Action Aid UK, in a document titled, The Disappearing Daughters of India states that, ”Most shocking of all are the figures for high caste urban Punjabis, at just 300 girls for every 1,000 boys.”

I come from a Sikh family and I can vouch for our obsession with the child bearing the phallus. Two decades ago, my sisters were fighting with their parents for their right to pursue a higher education,  fighting for their careers and  for choosing their own spouses. Two decades later, most of them despite the law granting them equal status, will never be a part of the family business and will not even get a share in the parental property. In the poorer classes we can blame the gender bias on a dearth of resources, on the dowry system plus a lack of education and exposure. But it goes deeper than that. The family name, carrying on the family lineage, seems to be the main concern in the upper classes. To me it seems like  just a matter of prestige.  Sikhism grants women equal status, the law states that we are equal to our brothers, yet nothing will change till we don’t make men a part of the conversation. So this year, we do just that.

#HeForShe- In 2014, the United Nations ran a solidarity movement for Gender Equality. It engaged men to fight for women’s rights. In India, the movement is yet to gather momentum. A 100 pieces of me joins the global phenomena this year and we are asking the men to be a part of it. As a part of our Women’s day  issue, we invite the men to be a part of our circle.