43-year-old Sunita Kasera is the only female member of the 150 member strong Karauli Press Union in Rajasthan. Sunita feels that Karauli is a backward district that offers little opportunity to local residents. Although Sunita completed her graduation from Jaipur University, after marriage, her in-laws insisted she stay at home. In her spare time, Sunita joined an NGO, Sathya Naval Development, that helps provide access to basic human rights to rural communities in Rajasthan. She learned about Video Volunteers from Sathya and joined as a community correspondent in 2010. Sunita has made videos on issues ranging from discrimination against widows…
A Hindu widow is supposed to take off all ornaments, wear only black or white, cut her hair short, walk barefoot after her husband dies. It’s a living death for her–she cannot even participate in auspicious ceremonies like weddings, nor is she allowed to remarry.
By contrast nothing changes for a man who has lost his wife. Our Community Correspondent interviews a widow and the widower. The widower says men are like ‘free birds’ and he has not had to face any restrictions after his wife passed away. By contrast, the widow reveals how a woman must control her desires and abide by what tradition has dictated for her. Such gender-based discrimination is the function of the iron-grip of patriarchy in our lives.
A woman is seen as incomplete by herself–she can only be someone’s daughter or wife and her identity is linked to that of a man. Even today as women go out in the world and succeed, such noxious practices restrict and throttle ambitions of many more. We need to challenge such practices in our lives and in our conversations. #KhelBadal
COMMUNITY CORRESPONDENT SUNITA KASERA FROM RAJASTHAN 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.