History would never talk about women’s knowledge and wisdom. Afterall, the male history writer wrote it in the first history book, “and then man invented wheel.” We are not quite sure whether it was really the man or the woman who invented the wheel, are we? Or the one who learned to control fire and use it for cooking, was it a man or woman?
Feminist epistemology, or women’s way of knowing, is not only ignored but shunned in all possible ways. Knowledge and learning have always been the man’s domain while women made sure men have the right nutrition for their brain to gather all that knowledge. A women who wanted to study was seen as a threat to society, a deviation. Women with a thinking mind was considered a witch and they were burnt alive.
Through evolution, women have enabled men to achieve larger things in life by their own ways of knowing, their own knowledge which they gained through experiences.
During my journey through the roads, when I look at the illiterate and semi-literate rural women, I see an intelligent spark in their eyes, and a poignant face that has gathered knowledge over centuries of evolution. These are women who are battered and oppressed but they continue to shine in their own ways of knowing and learning.
She has never gone to school, and cannot write a single letter. Yet she has painted over 50 walls in and around her village in Mewat with public service messages like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. How did she do it? By simply copying the script given to her. This is the level of potential these women have, if only they could get formal education.
Sonepat, Haryana, 2014