Acclaimed scholar and spiritual guru, Chanakhya begins Chapter two of ‘Chanakhya Neeti’ with: ‘Anritam Sahasam Maya Murkhatramatilubdha Ashochatvam Nirdayatvam Strinam Dosha Swabhavaja (telling lies, starting work without giving it any thought, daredevilry, deceitfulness, foolish acts, greed, impurity and cruelty are the basics of a woman’s nature).’
However, the Hindu philosophy portrays the divine power as ‘Shakti’, the manifestation of Goddess Parvati. Shakti represents the female strength -- the divine power to create the world. It also depicts the female energy responsible for the creation, which is represented by a mother’s ability to give birth.
So, I ask the significance of marching in the streets pleading for power when we already are its source. The universe would be a vacuum void had there not been a body to conceive new lives. However, our society has time and time again failed to understand the true power of women.
According to ancient myths, Ardhanarishvara -- an intersexual Hindu deity -- credits creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe on both forces of nature. However, we are yet to understand the power of the female force. The horrendous pain while conceiving a child every mother faces speaks of a women’s level of tolerance. Yet, women symbolize love, care, affection, endurance, and benevolence. Eleanor Roosevelt has rightly stated, “A woman is like a tea bag you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Sadly, we still take women just as human bodies, and nothing more.
Since birth, we are taught to comprise. The society instills a concept that puts self-sacrifice as a noble act. We are told that a woman’s worth depends on who she marries. These wrong notions prevent women from realizing their power, compelling women to sacrifice their power and compromise on her identity.
“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?” asks Rupi Kaur, an Indian-Canadian poet. “Since day one, she already had everything that she needs within herself, it’s the world that convinced her she did not,” she answers. Women are strong by birth, and it’s essential for all women to realize their worth, their virtues, and their power.
Phuyal is a grade 12 student at Uniglobe Secondary School, Kamaladi, Kathmandu