Because I Am a Girl, I Must Study

Kamla Bhasin:

A father asks his daughter:

Study? Why should you study?
I have sons aplenty who can study.
Girl, why should you study?

The daughter tells her father:
Since you ask, here’s why I must study.
Because I am a girl, I must study.

Long denied this right, I must study
For my dreams to take flight, I must study
Knowledge brings new light, so I must study
For the battles I must fight, I must study
Because I am a girl, I must study.

 

 

 

 

To avoid destitution, I must study
To win independence, I must study
To fight frustration, I must study
To find inspiration, I must study
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To fight men’s violence, I must study
To end my silence, I must study
To challenge patriarchy I must study
To demolish all hierarchy, I must study.
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To mould a faith I can trust, I must study
To make laws that are just, I must study
To sweep centuries of dust, I must study
To challenge what I must, I must study
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To know right from wrong, I must study.
To find a voice that is strong, I must study
To write feminist songs I must study
To make a world where girls belong, I must study.
Because I am a girl, I must study.

(Collected)

Kamla Bhasin (born 24 April 1946) is an Indian developmental feminist activist, poet, author and social scientist.. Bhasin’s work, that spans across 35 years, focuses on gender, education, human development and the media.She lives in New Delhi, India. She is best known for her work on the NGO Sangat, a South Asian network of feminists. In 1995, she recited a refurbished, feminist version of the popular poem Azadi (Freedom) in a conference. She is also the South Asia coordinator of One Billion Rising

 

 

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