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By Fagunloye Olamiposi Caleb ⊚
My name is Caleb and am 22 years old. I can say this because in my 22 years of existence, I owe it to GOD and the people around me (most especially women) . I can remember growing up, when my mum will wake me up very early in the morning to serve my breakfast so I wouldn't go to school with empty stomach. I also remember when my grand mother will travel down to our place. Her house is about 50km from us but still with how old she was she still made sure to visit us from time to time. I can't forget my sisters holding my hands to school so that I will feel safe and wouldn't be late. All this has shaped me with all the love from these women and my female friends I have met along the way. I believe you also can relate to this story of mine, how your existence was linked to a woman and your growing up. Time as past but the fact remains, women are brave and are integral part of our society. It baffles me when I hear various stories of rapes which majority of those cases are minor. I wonder what causes this, is it because the rapists are not brought up well or because they have forgotten how they were brought up? India recorded large amount of sexual abuses. The figures are increasing year after year. Women and girls were victimized, they are afraid in their own country of their own men. It is a shame. Am not here to judge or point fingers. India is a country that respect religion, culture and tradition. Indians know the norms and what is right or wrong. India is a great nation blessed with good women who dress well and about 650 million in population which according to National Crime Records Bureau statistics for 2012 to 2016 show that approximately 40% of female reported rape victims were minors and 95% knew the rapist. How did this happen, how is our women reduced to naught? Or have we forgotten what they symbolize? Women are afraid on the streets, not because of tanks, weapon or infantry men but because of rapists disguise as well meaning men even some has police officers which have sworn to protect the lives and properties (but real men will not hide behind their identity to inflict harm on others). I want the people and government to remember that a democracy where half of her citizens are in jeopardy and fear is not a democracy at all. Women work the same way with men and still they don't get the same pay. Women put effort in building her home and still are shut out of political space. What kind of country is this, is this the country we want to live for our children? Will you be proud to tell your sons and daughters that "this country is for one gender"? What will you tell them you do to change the narrative? It depends on me and you, if you want to change the narrative about India, about how men treats their women, if you want to change the narrative of how different countries till today despite several protests we still don't have equal pay gap (which just start in US for their female footballers) for women athlete then, we need to use our voice. Don't say you don't have power anymore, your voice is also your power. Female gender mutilation has stopped in several countries just because there was a great protest about it. This is a wake up call for girls and women, it is time to wake up. Enough is enough. Am not telling you to be violence are rough about it, no, am telling you if you don't speak up now they might think you are fine with it. If you are a men you should join also, don't say you don't care, you have a wife and a daughter, I know you will not like that kind of thing to happen to them, you will want to protect them. But, this morning remember Asifa that 8 years old girl that was gang raped by several men in a temple in India which include a police officer that washed her clothes to destroy every evidence against them. Asifa was helpless, don't let does perpetrators go without being brought to book. Asifa might have been your daughter and this can happen again if we don't stop it now. Let all of us rise up in unity against victimization of girls and women. There are several men who are sane so let join hands together to stop this menace. We have women who are doing great in India some of them are; ADITI BALBIR founder of V Resorts, ASHWINI ASOKAN founder of Mad Street Den and DEBADUTTA UPADHYAYA CEO & Co-founder ofTimesaverz Dotcom Private Limited just mention a few. All these have shown us that India women are great people, courageous and can do what ever they set their heart at. The time is now for India to flourish again but it can't be done without equal involvement of our women. India will be counting on you.