Because I am a girl…
Dated: 13 November 2015
“…….because you are girl.” This is a common answer for a girl’s queries. Although I grew up in a relatively open-minded family, I was restricted to do many things just because I am a girl. There were times when I wished not to be a girl and be able to play football with my brothers, or get a bicycle for my birthday instead of a doll.
My parents were never discriminatory; they were just following the convention. They never bought me a bicycle yet they let me learn how to ride it, they did not let me play football then but now they come to see me play table tennis. I broke so many rules that girls from my family could never even imagine and I’m glad that I did; I am thankful that my parents understood. Things are very different now. I don’t hold myself back thinking that I am a girl, instead I move forward because I am a girl.
People, who know me as a strong young woman, don’t know of my struggle and tears, the overnight debates and hunger strikes I went through to prove my point, to change the view of my parents. One thing that I have learnt from a very early age is that if I’m right I have to fight harder to get my ideas heard just because I am a girl.
I was glad to realize my views matched with one of the strongest woman politician of Bangladeshi origin, Rushnara Ali, who has been elected to the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. When asked what are the vices she faces as a woman in the parliament, she replied with a smile and explained how she thinks it’s a privilege to be a woman standing in a room full of men. A bit surprised about this statement, I kept listening to her. Then she said “I know men will be looking at me with a raised eyebrow, ready to criticize me, and that is a motivation for me to give the best at what I do. I work harder.” Her words helped me to look at things in a more positive way and now when I am criticized for doing something right, I know at least I’m having some effect on people. Now I know I will do great because I am a girl.
Afroza Sultana Bristy, is a 24-year-old English Literature student at Rajshahi Univeristy in Bangladesh. See more on her personal blog at BristyCool.