In the midst of one of the darkest times I’ve lived through, with conflict and Covid dominating our every thought, it was a breath of fresh air to see the messages of positivity and hope emerging from International Women’s Day this week.


For as long as I can remember, I have questioned gender bias – perhaps because, being born into an Indian community, the discrepancy in treatment between boys and girls was clear to me from the start.


I recall vividly the reactions of some of the more senior members of my family when my little sister was born. My mum was deemed a failure for birthing another girl, the judgment plummeting her into a state of depression. In my culture, it’s the boys who carry the name and the legacy whereas girls are considered to belong to another future family, their loyalty questioned from the get-go because they will marry and leave one day. Though I could not understand it back then as a five-year-old, I remember my heart hurting. Instead of celebrations, some mourned my sister’s birth.


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