Haseena Breaks Free from Orthodoxy
20 years, Sangam Vihar, South Delhi
“I started working when I was 18 years, and I love this feeling, it is so liberating.”
The first thing that strikes me about Haseena is her exuberance and positive spirit. What she has achieved being in a conservative Muslim family setup, is no mean feat, and she takes pride in sharing it. “I am from a community where even till today, the girls get married at 15 years of age , but I am 20 and can confidently tell my family that I don’t want to marry.”
She continues, “Of course, nothing would have been possible without the support of the family, especially my mother who supported me in every way” The family supported Haseena and even withheld sharing about her job for a considerable time to avoid any conflict in the community.
In 2017, the employability program at ETASHA changed the course of her life. The journey started with working as a sales executive at Haldiram’s and today Haseena works as a counsellor at a publishing house which publishes books for various medical and engineering competitions.
“My mother worked as domestic help for several years until serious medical problem didn’t let her continue. I told her not to worry that I will take care but not as domestic help but by studying and pursuing a career.”
About the gender inequality in her community, she shares “They think that if girls get educated beyond a point, they get crazy. (zyada pada likha ke dimaag chal jaata hai). And so there is always a rush to get them married as soon as possible.”
I tell her that she is an inspiration for her community. She cheerfully agrees. “I belong to the part of UP, where not even a single girl is pursuing graduation. I feel proud to have done this. And soon I can tell you Inshallah; there will be more Haseenas amongst us.”
originally published by womensweb.in