In India, a father is one of the biggest advocates a girl can have.
Gender discrimination is a major issue in this traditionally patriarchal society, even though India’s constitution has granted men and women equal rights.
Along with a lack of acknowledgment of these rights, harmful traditional practices have severely hampered the progress of women in the country.
But a father’s support can make a world of difference. With their help, girls can go to school instead of staying home to take care of their siblings, going to work, or even worse, being married off at very young ages.
Promod Kumar wants to be the kind of father who stands up for his daughter.
“I wanted to change the way society looks at girls,” he says. “But I did not know how to do this.”
To help Promod (and other fathers' in the community) advocate for his 12-year-old daughter, Riya, World Vision started the Men Care Group. Through his work with the group, Promod learned about how traditions such as early marriage, dowry, early pregnancy and female infanticide, impede the advancement of girls.
"We need to make children, especially girls, feel special and wanted! I want my daughter to follow the profession that interests her. She has equal rights like the boys,” Promod now states proudly.
Today, Promod sees his daughter as an important member of his family.
“I have learned that whatever her desire, we should try fulfilling it and not ignoring it. I used to ignore her grievances but now I listen carefully and try to find a solution."
3 Ways to Show Love to a Child in Need Today...
1) : The effects of poverty in India are widespread, but girls often suffer the most. They often miss out on education, immunizations, health care and other essential benefits. But your sponsorship can change that.
Sponsor a girl in India
2) World Vision’s Rise Up! Daughters of India is an initiative to bring proper toilets to girls in India. We seek to meet even their most basic needs because girls are valued and important. Please consider getting involved today.
3) Your one-time gift will help women and girls in crisis to receive education, job training, counselling and health care. These are powerful tools for women and girls who have been denied an educated, faced abuse or been forced into early marriage or sexual exploitation.
By Alicia Dubay, with files from Annila Harris