WOTW: Nehal Mehra
Woman of the week
South Asian females are expected to maintain a meek, damsel in distress sort of position. God forbid if they have a voice – they would be classified as the shameless, promiscuous, good for nothing girl. I am everything far from that – probably the most opinionated, vocal and enthusiastic person in my social circle. I aspire to make my presence known, not hide behind my male counterparts. According to the Indian culture, I should’ve stayed at my parents house until I had gotten married. I stayed far away from that notion and pursued my dreams of living in New York City and attending grad school in the big Apple. I’m 28 and not even close to being married, yet already had moved out of my parents house at a younger age!
I’ve never categorized myself as a feminist. My parents raised my sister and I without any restrictions due to our gender. We were given the same opportunities and treatment as our male cousins, for example. It’s only when I stepped into adulthood and the real world – I saw the extremity of female segregation and oppression. Even though we have progressed as a society, I see women denied of their rights, their worth. I see ridiculous amounts of judgement to myself because I wasn’t that typical Indian girl. I was raised with so much love and respect that to receive anything less was the hardest thing to swallow. Therefore, Feminism to me is equal respect.
According to society, I have many achievements. I completed my undergrad in business at York University in Toronto. Followed with pursuing grad school at NYU (New York University). My recent accomplishment and I think the most monumental has been the launch of my passion project. Starting a venture that aims to help and empower people by looking and feeling beautiful. The most significant achievement of all because for me as this is the beginning of the path to my calling.
Females already possess so much power within them. We went from not being able to vote to the new age development of women having the freedom of choice – including choosing to have a family or not. So far we have fought social issues, I hope to see women fighting economical issues as well. Female entrepreneurship is on the rise with career driven women highlighted more. There’s an increased awareness of women in subject areas once regarded as not fit for women. I want to continue hearing about women in that regard. I want to hear more about strong and powerful business women. I hope this even more for women of colour.