Fe­male Power

Southasia - - Editor's Mail -

Your cover story on the women of South Asia was very en­gag­ing and timely. We live in a re­gion where women have been at the fore­front in pol­i­tics, academia, en­ter­tain­ment and even the mil­i­tary. It was in­ter­est­ing to read the per­spec­tives of four women, each rep­re­sent­ing an im­por­tant coun­try in South Asia. Of­ten one finds pub­li­ca­tions cov­er­ing the plight of women in only one coun­try but it was en­light­en­ing to read and ob­serve a trend emerg­ing within South Asia, in one pub­li­ca­tion. De­spite the many odds against them, I am con­vinced that this gen­er­a­tion of South Asian women is go­ing to usher in change and work to­wards a com­mon goal of in­tro­duc­ing col­lec­tive free­dom for all women in their coun­try. The most in­ter­est­ing move­ment is the change in mind­set, where women of all ages, are more de­ter­mined to cross all hur­dles, ready to make their voices heard and usher in pos­i­tive change. Whether it is sit­ting in the par­lia­ment fight­ing to pass a bill in the fa­vor of women or it is ris­ing to the top ranks of a global cor­po­ra­tion, South Asian women can no longer be ig­nored or shunned. In­ter­est­ingly enough, each of your ar­ti­cles also shed light on the un­sung he­roes of South Asia: the women who are not as prom­i­nent as their coun­ter­parts and yet, show their com­mit­ment and strength just by sur­viv­ing and fight­ing harder each day. Though poverty re­mains a se­ri­ous hur­dle, the women of South Asia are ready to make their voices heard. Fazee­lat Us­mani Karachi, Pak­istan

2. Your story on South Asian women was very well pre­sented and thought pro­vok­ing. Ow­ing to the dom­i­nant nar­ra­tive that most women in South Asia are sup­pressed, op­pressed and sub­jected to vi­o­lence in all forms, it was re­fresh­ing to see move­ments emerg­ing, in­di­vid­u­als ris­ing and mind­sets chang­ing in the fa­vor of women through­out the re­gion. How­ever, while such ef­forts are in place and move­ments take time to bring col­lec­tive change, what re­mains most im­por­tant is a se­ri­ous ef­fort on the part of gov­ern­ments. While pri­vate sec­tors can act as pres­sure groups, women from all strata of so­ci­ety will only ben­e­fit if there are con­certed ef­forts in place that guar­an­tee their pro­tec­tion and well-be­ing, on an of­fi­cial, state level. This is the most im­por­tant as­pect. Un­for­tu­nately, while we may be able to view in­ter­na­tional achieve­ments of some women within South Asia, the fact re­mains that the ma­jor­ity con­tinue to suf­fer from ex­treme poverty, lack of ba­sic health, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, low or no ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards and a myr­iad of other im­ped­i­ments to suc­cess. None­the­less, it is en­cour­ag­ing to see women tak­ing a stand and speak­ing out for their rights. The ball has cer­tainly started rolling and it won’t be long be­fore we will see women’s move­ment tak­ing some con­crete steps and mak­ing tan­gi­ble change. Dhruv Shankar Mum­bai, In­dia

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