Championing gender equality

Championing gender equality

Writer-filmmaker Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, says that she wants an India free of child marriages.

Writer-filmmaker Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, says that she wants an India free of child marriages. But it's unfortunate that as of now, the country is home to the highest number of underage brides

"Gender equality is very close to my heart and I feel very strongly about it. Each time we do not let our women step out of their homes, discriminate against them in the workplace, we as a nation are regressing, as the strength of a nation lies with its people and that is irrespective of any gender," she said.

She was speaking at the SDGs Impact Summit, brought together by Times Strategic Solutions Limited and The World We Want, in New Delhi earlier this month.

A champion for gender equality, Tahira spoke of her childhood experience about a friend from Jalandhar in Punjab who got married at the tender age of 14 and gave birth to a child at 15.

"That shocked the life out of me. As I was in my sixth grade and changing my profession daily, my friend never got to do any of this, she was not only stripped of her childhood but also of her dreams and aspirations".

Tahira also spoke about her battle with cancer. "I have experienced it and I don't want anyone to experience it at any stage or age. Last year, at the age of 35, I was detected with stage1 breast cancer.

I had a mastectomy, reconstruction and 12 sessions of chemotherapy. The treatment went well because it was early detection of breast cancer."

However, it wasn't her diagnosis that appalled her but the associated stigma which results in a lack of awareness about preventing breast cancer.

"In a predominantly patriarchal country, decisions lie with the men of the household, women feel embarrassed about discussing this with their families.

They would rather endure the symptoms but not talk about the stigma and taboo associated with it."

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