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Breaking Barriers

"We must always fight for our rights, education, and, most importantly, our dignity."

-Nishat Parveen

Author: Stuti Ajmera

August, 2021

When I was very young, I loved imitating news anchors. I would watch them on the television and tell my parents that I wanted to become a news anchor or a journalist, but my parents would often tell me not to do it because it wasn't suited for a girl.

That was the first time I realized my gender and identity would define me for the rest of my life. I've had to work very hard for everything ever since. Before moving on to my higher education, I attended a Hindi medium school but my course was taught in English. That was a difficult transition because my language became a barrier to my education. People did not value me because of my educational background.

My ambition was to study medicine, but being a girl prevented me from leaving my hometown for further studies. My pursuit of higher education in medicine, regardless of my abilities, was stymied when I mentioned going somewhere else. Despite a lack of guidance, I found my way into Botany and discovered something I truly enjoy doing.

We are indeed made to feel bad as women. We must always fight for our rights, education, and, most importantly, our dignity. We are constantly encouraged to pursue careers that are “safe” for women. But we never ask them if they want to go ahead with it. I've had to prove myself at every level, which shouldn't be the case. We don't have to prove ourselves to anyone. Our identity doesn’t and should never define our capabilities.

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