Father and daughter holding hands and walking-blog post of Akshata Shanbhag

DAUGHTER

“A world without girls is as impossible as a world without water.”

 

When I was pregnant, my kith and kin would shower their blessings and well wishes and say-

 “God bless you with a healthy son.”

“May Lord Krishna/ Lord Ganesha be born.”

“Be blessed with a baby boy.”

 

As far as I remember, there must be a handful of people/occasions where people have blessed me by saying- 

 “May you be blessed with a healthy baby girl?” 

I always wanted a daughter and I am blessed and proud to have one. I would often tell them-

Why a son and not a daughter? Bless me that I have a daughter.”

 

Once someone told me – 

 “ Lord Ganesha will be born and you will be happy.”

I looked at her, smiled and politely told her – 

Why Ganesha and not Gauri? I want Gauri.”

 She was silent. It was like I was wishing for a zombie to be born in my family. 

 

Amongst women, even though daughters provide greater affection and emotional support, the “ability” to produce a son is a critical determinant of a woman’s status within the family.

 

According to Confucian belief, family lineage can be continued only through a male child. In Hinduism even though girls have some importance -giving away a daughter in marriage (kanyadan) is considered meritorious, but when a Hindu parent dies, a son must carry out the last rites. If not, the very devout believe they will not reach heaven.

 

“With one son you have a descendant, with ten daughters you have nothing” – Vietnamese proverb.

 

Globally, 10 per cent of girls aged 5-14 years old perform household chores for 28 hours a week or more, this is approximately double that of the proportion of boys expected to undertake the same amount of domestic work. 

 

Concerning education, status in society, and pay scale men mostly have an upper hand. Girls are not even educated because they think that they are confined to doing the house chores. It’s a burden when a girl child is born and a cause of celebration when a son is born.

 

Though the world has made so much progress and we talk about women empowerment, there is still that yearning for a male child not just in India but in other parts of the world too. We need to change the thought process. This can happen when every individual thinks on the same line. Do you agree with me?

 

After my daughter’s birth, a friend of mine told me that I am blessed to have a girl and she is not ( she has a son ). I asked her why do you say that? She told me that daughter is born only to people who are blessed. I smiled and replied  -Indeed I am blessed.

 

“Angels are often disguised as daughters.”

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