Let’s give up the veil, so that we can breathe

"I want to be able to go out and work too. Purdah and other such practices should end", says a woman who has been forced to don the veil in her marital home poignantly. "Why is it that men are not forced to wear the veil our?" asks our Community Correspondent and pat comes the reply from another woman in a purdah -- because they wouldn't look good in it!"

Covering your face while doing essential, labour heavy tasks is not only inconvenient but maybe dangerous because it reduces one's ability to see. Yet women continue to maintain 'purdah' to save themselves from the censure and discord in marital homes. What is amply clear is that patriarchal practices such as veiling are just an adjunct to the deep structural rifts of gender discrimination. After all, why should women have to relocate to their husband's family home after marriage and be treated as objects that are valued in, so far as they embody the 'honour' of the family?

The veil is only the symptom of the deeper malaise that runs deep in our society where women are seen as secondary citizens whose needs must always come after that of the men.

COMMUNITY CORRESPONDENT MADHURI CHAUHAN FROM UTTAR PRADESH REPORTS FOR VIDEO VOLUNTEERS.  THIS SERIES DOCUMENTING EVERYDAY PATRIARCHY IS SUPPORTED BY UNFPA

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories.
These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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