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Video: Gendered Realities of Mountains

silence in the mountains

Gendered Realities of Mountains by Priyanka Minj | Life in the mountains isn’t easy. It becomes even more difficult when villages, which are tucked away in huge mountain ranges are left out of the development ambit of a country.

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The lack of development in such areas directly impacts the lives of its inhabitants, especially adolescent girls. Poor education infrastructure, healthcare services, road connectivity, and the absence of other basic facilities reinforce the patriarchal practices against these young girls. In Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district, the everyday life of adolescent girls is marred by such realities. Their usual day involves waking up early, helping their mothers with household chores, getting ready for school, and then walking for long hours to reach school. On their return, they have to contribute a couple of hours in cooking, clean and maintain the house. They are hardly able to find time for themselves. On the other hand, boys in their families have all the time on their hands to meet friends, play sports or online games, and have a comfortable sleep.

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They are made to believe that this is their fate as a woman and are considered a liability in these families. From a very young age, they are conditioned to believe that it is their duty to compromise and sacrifice for their families. But today, these adolescent girls have started questioning these practices. By working with a non-profit organization, these girls have started believing in their voices. They come together to discuss issues that matter to them the most. They write articles, poems, and stories. With crayons and watercolors, they paint a world of their dreams and desires. A new hope is born every time these girls break their silence and express their opinions.

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