Women's economic or social status.


"I will never forget my husband's simplicity. I cannot believe that he is no more now," says my friend, a 23-year-old who lost her husband in 2003. Twenty-five-year-old her husband had joined the job just one year earlier. He was transferred only three months ago. "Your husband is said to be in hospital. Get ready. We should leave right away on the 2:00 bus," I had told her hurriedly. 

"My husband loves me so much. I love him too, so passionately as though life itself comes with it. Since our marriage we didn't even have time to talk fully," She said. "He should have stayed at home to farm. We shouldn't have let him take such a life-consuming job," Her mother said with great pain.

My friend was a woman like any other in the city, who would talk with anyone and sing around the fields and forests. The house of her was not more than a 15 or 16-minute walk from mine. Though she was the third-born daughter among seven sisters, she was more like the eldest in terms of household work, and in addition she was the most beautiful girl in the city, so all the city boys liked her. Of course, there were some rumors about her marriage when I was in the city.

A number of people would come daily to her house to persuade her to marry, and her mother would harass others telling their number, counting on her fingers. "Your husband has come back." After returning from his job training, he had come straight to see me. He was smartened up with nice clothes and talked with my father of big things about the world.

After training, he had become well-learned, my father had commented. Then we went to the market for the whole day and had tea and talked about his wife. Really I had no fear of the world. I was thoughtless and free in the world. I was in a passionate hurry to exchange my feelings with him and wished to tell him, you are the best. The red nose pin in a case which he gave me, I have kept very carefully in a small box on the floor. Cream powder, hair oil and scent I have kept in the same place. Even to remember those things brings tears to my eyes.

Then, after he started sending letters twice a day, I would wait for the postman every day. I would give him two rupees as a tip to make him happy so he would come first to my house. I used to be greatly pained If I didn't see the postman even for a day, and I used to go and sit under the shade of a tree that leaned over my house, facing south. 

"Did he send any message?" said my aunt. She knew me from my childhood so I sensed that she wanted to help me. "Nothing would happen to her husband." I told her with a trembling voice. I could hardly speak. "OK, now I will hand up the phone. I can't pay the bill any more." She hung up. "At least we should have four children, got it? If one cannot help, there will be another. There is a saying, the brave have twelve."

Only last month, he had written that in a long letter to my friend. "Kamala, I always see only your face in front of me. I have been so restless to meet you. At all times, I have been living with your love." I repeat his last letter again. With no other source of income, my friend is dependent on the pension she receives from his job for her survival. "Kamala, my husband died. I am homeless, loveless," said the teary-eyed.

My friend is not alone. There are hundreds of young women widows, homeless and displaced globally. The overwhelming majority of women victimized are hovering between life and death, due to lack of timely financial support.
Women's lives are torn apart. Many women are living a miserable life, are not educated, do not have access to health facilities and safe drinking water. Women cannot forget how giving women socio/political, and employment power mean improvement overall in women's development.

Published in UPI ASIa Blog: (revised article)

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