Student VoicesBack to student voices archive August 17, 2015
Travel to India builds solidarity between women
By Rachel Armany
While looking through a photo album of my Indian host mother’s wedding day, I learned that she was 17-years-old the day she was arranged to marry a 30-year-old man from another village whom she did not know.
As a 17-year-old American girl, the fears that keep me awake at night are things like a robber coming into my house or an unknown person assaulting me on the street — events that could possibly happen in my future, but are fortunately not realities for me.
Many Indian girls my age cannot sleep at night because they are scared of something completely tangible: the fact that tomorrow, they could be married to an older man they do not know. How can they know how he will treat them?
While my host mom’s marriage ended up working out well, some are not so lucky. If women are unhappy in marriage here, there is little that they can do: they cannot support themselves on their own and divorce is socially taboo.
It is very difficult for me to fully understand the fears of a 17-year-old girl from a small mountain village in India, but I like to believe that the challenges we face as women tie us together, despite living in completely different worlds.
I’ve learned so many things from each woman I’ve met here in India. I appreciate their kind, warm and hardworking disposition, and feel sorrow for the sociocultural structures that constrict their lives. I am proud of the women who can rise up after they are routinely knocked down and I stand in solidarity with the ones who cannot.
Especially in India, I feel pride in being a woman.
Rachel Armany is a rising senior at Stoughton High School in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Rachel had the opportunity to travel to India through The Experiment in International Living, which provides innovative and immersive summer abroad programs for high school students. The Experiment is a program of World Learning, a nonprofit organization empowering people, communities and institutions to create a more peaceful and just world.
Tooltip of related stories
More Student Voices
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of related content
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Why the presidential election might not end on November 3
Why this year has the chance to be a longer, more chaotic (but not unprecedented) voting process than usual Continue reading2020 presidential electionabsentee votingBallotElectionsGovernment & CivicsJoe Bidenlesson planPresident Donald Trumpvote by mailvoter suppressionvoter turnout
News Roundup: The nation remembers Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Americans mourn an iconic Supreme Court justice while many see injustice in a police shooting indictment Continue reading2020 ElectionBreonna Taylorconfirmationcoronaviruscovid-19Government & Civicslesson planpolice shootingPresident Donald TrumpRuth Bader GinsburgSenateSRLSupreme Court
Lesson Plan: Hosting a presidential debate
Analyze campaign issues and practice formal debate procedures and elements of logic with this lesson. Continue readingcandidatesCivicsDebateDemocratsDonald Trumpelection 2020Government & CivicsHillary Clintonlesson planmoderatorPresidential DebateRepublicansSocial StudiesSuper Civics 2020Vote 2020
Do charges in Breonna Taylor case show officers are ‘above the law’?
Discuss why many from protesters to scholars think the charges in the police killing of Breonna Taylor are inadequate. Continue readingBlack Lives MatterBreonna Taylorcurrent eventsenglishEnglish & Language ArtsGovernment & Civicslesson planpolice shootingsprotestsSocial Issuessocial justiceSocial StudiesSRLstudent reporting lives
Research shows coronavirus spreads primarily through the air
How has more research into the way coronavirus spreads helped inform public health policy? Continue readingcoronaviruscoronavirus pandemiccovid-19distance learningepidemiologylesson planlife sciencesonline learningpublic healthpublic policyremote learningSciencescientific datascientific literacySTEM