south asian stigma

This Campaign Is Fighting Stigma Against South Asian Single-Parent Families

The photo above has been shared on Facebook more than 11,000 times within the past day. It features Hernoor Grewal on her wedding day, as her mother gives her away — a custom traditionally reserved for, and rooted in male-preference — alongside heavy social stigma.
The story is shared on the Facebook page of a campaign called “The Pink Ladoo,” which, according to their website, “tackles the problem of male-preference culture in the South Asian community by encouraging families to celebrate the birth of girls.”

Here is the text of the original Facebook post:
“In this photo my Mum is giving me away at my wedding – a cultural custom that is reserved for men. I am 1 of 5 girls, we don’t have a brother and our Dad left the scene some years ago. If your father isn’t present at your wedding, it’s expected that you will find some other suitable male to take part.
When my dad left, the community were quick to blame our Mum entirely. Similarly, my sisters and I have had to endure a life time of “don’t worry, maybe you’ll be blessed with a brother in your next life” type comments. This treatment culminated in a family being uninterested in having my sister’s hand in marriage for their son on the basis that our family had too many girls.
Our Mum stood strong in the face of the gossip-making aunties and uncles in our community even though she was probably crumbling and devastated on the inside. She raised us to believe that we do not need to depend on a man for our happiness or emotional/financial stability, and that we should learn to stand on our own two feet as early as possible, and as much as possible. That’s why we pushed to have the women in our family take on the roles during the wedding that the men ‘traditionally’ would have, and we also try to practise this sentiment in our daily lives.
We hope our story can provide support for other single-parent families. Male-centric traditions and customs are just one way of trying to show women that they are nothing without men, but we know first hand that just isn’t true – we hope that this picture and this story proves that.” – Hernoor Grewal

The Pink Ladoo project is trying to encourage the South Asian community to recognise the damaging impact of gender biased traditions on young girls. For us, the Pink Ladoo is the symbol of a protest against South Asian gender biased cultural norms. We need to raise the value of women. We can do that one Pink Ladoo at a time.
The success of this campaign depends on the number of people we reach. So, tweet, tag, share, discuss. Spread the word.
Instagram: @pinkladoo