Astitva: a woman’s journey from existence to empowerment by Monika Davessar
Monika Davessar loves learning new things and blogging is her recent interest. Her first Ebook: Astitva, walks through the A to Z aspects of a woman. Seeking to give a message to the society, she believes this book helps in Women Empowerment. Book Blurb: Astitva is a virtual revolt against the age-old customs and attitudes that suppress the essential identity and dignity of women. The author pushes all women suffering under the present societal set-up to realize their potential and live independently.
Review: Discrimination against women is rampant all over the world even in this 21st century. Patriarchal societies in most countries are adept at exploitation as well as victimization of women. Even though about 50% of the world’s population consists of women, but unfortunately most of them are denied basic rights education, freedom of speech, voting power and even independent identity. Women empowerment is currently a burning issue on the minds of nation’s policymakers as it commands a lot of media attention and international focus lately. It is a fact that women are built different than men by nature yet this difference cannot be translated to mean inferiority. In a collection of essays, author Monika doesn’t leave anything out—covering abuse, domestic violence, love, menstruation, rape, uterus rent to x factors. If you think the tone is going to be preachy, think again. Sitting down with this book will kind of be like having a thought-provoking conversation with your friends on topics which are really bothering the women right now. We need stories of hope and possibilities, stories that reflect the reality of our lived experiences. The book has narratives on each topic. Monika’s writing is vulnerable, honest, and shares struggles to help other women grow as much as they can. It’ll give you the confidence to reach for your goals, turn your flaws into strengths, and become the girl boss you’ve always wanted to be. It’s not your average life advice. Instead, it’s like reading a book from a best friend who will tell you the honest truth on how to succeed — and not beat around the bush.
Talking about some of my favorite chapters, I really liked the below mentioned a lot.
Bride burning is undoubtedly an acute social problem attributable to the deep-rooted prejudice of relatively small sections of Indian society. The problem, is unfortunately not a legal problem and hence there are no easy constitutional or legislative remedies for the situation. The Indian Constitution guarantees equality before law and equal pay for equal work. In this respect women have the same rights as men. Similarly, whereas under traditional Hindu law, women had no rights of inheritance, recent legislation has corrected this bias also. One way to prevent bride burning can be through education, narrowly tailored laws and greater public awareness.
Domestic violence is not just a problem of the lower and middle classes. It is very prevalent even among prominent people. The signs of domestic violence (DV) are not always obvious and a lot of women don’t report that they’re being abused. Even the woman’s own family is not always supportive at such times, because of the shame and guilt that surrounds such issues. Another concern that women face is how to prove domestic violence in India. Education – gender sensitization, talking about gender in general and gender-based violence. This should be part of all school curriculum so that it makes women strong. Also, a lot of violence in India is not looked at as violence. As it is a patriarchy a lot of violence against women is expected and accepted.
Shrouded in myths and taboos, menstruation is a difficult subject in India. Studies suggest that 200 million women lack awareness of menstrual hygiene, and many don’t have access to toilets during their periods, let alone sanitary products like pads or tampons. In some areas, even discussing menstruation is anathema, silencing an entire gender into shame. There is no reason to shy away or hide that you bleed. Menstrual periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Both men and women can work towards making this very important topic a mainstream one. Let’s stop hiding it or speak about it in whispers which cannot be heard. Women, be loud and proud as you say that you bleed. Men, be bold enough to accept that the “that time of the month” is a natural process of the human body.
These are just 3 of the main 26 topics which have been informatively covered by Monika. Anyone with a heartbeat should read this essay, even aliens. Until a few years ago I used to not stand up when faced to situations where my being was judged by gendered standards? I could say that I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be true : I genuinely think we are the products of our society and that I had internalized so many biased statements about what I can do as a woman and what I can’t that I didn’t even notice them anymore. This is why I find this kind of books important. Short and highly readable but powerful and yes, needed. Monika is that writer who has delivered multi-faceted topics in such easily accessible ways without sacrificing the weight and magnitude of the ideas. This is a book everyone should read and give thought to. Treat us (women) with love and not lust, with hope and not hindrance. We all have to contribute something positive, something that creates a dialogue about change and contributes towards empowerment of women. Everyone should read this book, regardless of their preconceived ideas on the subjects.
- Content – 4.5/5
- Cover Page – 5/5
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