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Boys must know that girls are not weak: Gurmehar Kaur

Media spoke to Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur (20), who was at the centre of a controversy over her comments on the death of her martyred father and her social media campaign. In her first-ever interview after she was embroiled in a battle among leading political parties, Kaur told Sushmita Ghosh that the need of the hour was to teach young boys about feminism and women safety at the grassroots level. Sharing her views on gender inequality, the Lady Sri Ram College student said that gender equality needs to be taught just the way inequality has been taught for generations.

Q. There is a lot of debate on gender related issues all over the world. What according to you is the essence of these issues?
A. This is not a recent problem we are facing. Women have been facing the patriarchy and the misogyny for a very long time. Even if we go back to the Shakespearean time, women were not allowed to go on stage or act. But right now we are in a very comfortable space. Even though it is terrible, we have much more forward thinking space as compared to the past. Women are still able to ask for their rights and it’s about time to move forward. When it comes to feminism and women safety, this needs to be taught to young boys from the grassroots level that girls are not different from them and neither are they weaker.  

Q. There was a hullabaloo over your social media ca-mpaign over the Ramjas issue. What challenges soc-ial media is posing before women in raising their voice?
A. I believe the situation for women on social media has become worse. On social media, people can easily troll you sitting behind the screen and say whatever they want to.
They usually know there aren’t any consequences because cyber space is a new concept for the government to wrap their head around which I have realised. It is terrible that women are being harassed on social media. I went through the same. Even now if I open my Twitter account, there will be horrible comments.

Q. We talk about women empowerment all the time. How much do you think this notion exists in reality?
A. Girls like you and me come from upper middle class families. Here the dialogue of women empowerment is important, but it is something which does not come out of the blue. If we talk about the rural sections, the women need to be empowered.


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