I wanted to share with you a documentary that I recently watched called India’s Forgotten Women. I came across this documentary in a gender studies class. It’s about the Dalit women in India. “Dalit” means “broken/scattered” in Sanskrit and Hindi. It’s a term mostly used for the lower caste members.
India’s caste system is a social structure that divides different groups into ranked categories. Members of “higher” caste have a greater social status than individuals of a “lower” caste.
The documentary tells the story about the women who are at the bottom of the realm. These women live under extreme poverty and their lives are dictated by an oppressive misogynistic system.
Let me give you some examples:
A lot of families in India live under extreme poverty conditions. One of the ways families can get quick cash is by selling their young girls into marriage. These little girls are as young as the moment they get their period. Even though it is prohibited, the government turns a blindside to this problem.
Baby girls are thought of as a financial burden. It’s a common practice of having an abortion after you find out you are having a girl. It’s even advertised it is cheaper to have an abortion than to raise a girl.
Another common practice is Devadasi. Devadasi consists of marrying girls to a religious temple. They are there to serve the needs of the priests and the men of the temple. In other words, it’s prostitution. Another illegal practice that is still taken place.
These are a few examples of what Dalit women go through. I invite you to watch the documentary to learn more.
I wanted to raise awareness about what is happening to these women. Often, the conversation surrounded women’s rights is clouded by ego. People spend hours debating what’s right and wrong with the women’s movement forgetting about the main subjects of the story. The main concern shouldn’t be if you identify yourself as a feminist. It should be about the suffering many women are facing around the world and what are we going to do to help them.