Empowering Women Through the ‘Fuzia’ of Cultural Ideas
Stepping up on the ladder of success is no cake walk, and especially if you are a woman, the challenges tend to accelerate by multifold times owing to the traditional cultures and stereotypes. However, it is firmly believed that nothing can dim the light that shines from the within and the same resonates with the pioneering trail of Shraddha Varma, the brain behind Fuzia – an independent online space that is empowering women with each passing day.
In an exclusive tête-à-tête with Shraddha, we got to know more about her endeavors to inspire and empower women, how she stays motivated despite facing many challenges along with her take on taboos that are still plaguing society. Read further to know more about Shraddha!
An Unflinching Zeal to Succeed
As a woman, there were several pressing challenges that Shraddha had to encounter while trying to step up in her career. However, she took all of them in positive stride and continued to succeed with an unflinching zeal.
“Even today, there are times when unexpected challenges come around. To spill the tip of the iceberg of challenges, I’d like to share about the times when failures have led to self-doubt. Self-doubt, as I now look at it, stems from previous negative experiences and can lead to devastating concerns like emotional instability and lack of motivation. However, after taking my own sweet time, I realized that losing hope isn’t what I can really afford. I learnt a big deal about finding validation from within and how we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. We all make mistakes, and it is okay to do so. What helped me the most was surrounding myself with cheerleaders and people who believed in me, the friends and family members who believed in me and everything that I am and was capable of. They reminded me of my potential during the times when I wasn’t feeling myself,” shares Shraddha.
She further adds, “Today, I’m also very mindful of what I invest my energy into. Though overcoming challenges like this isn’t easy, I’m sure we all can do so even at our lowest if only we do not lose hope.”
Surpassing the Pre-conceived Notions
“I can’t even begin to list the pressing issues as they go beyond eternity. Our society is still normalizing various things, including me being here and opening up these issues. This counts as step one. Let me try to bring up some of them: Income equality – Many women who are in the same position as men are paid less, because a woman’s income is considered as extra pocket money at home. There’s still no way people have considered independent living women. There’re clothing restrictions, women are still not allowed to wear what they desire, skirts and pants are banned in several organizations as it might instigate the men. This is the one which bothers me and every woman out there,” Shraddha voices out.
She adds, “Then there’s safety, which is another struggle for women to stand up for themselves against their boss or any colleague for sexual harassment, but many don’t, in fear of getting jobless. Our safety, our pay, our choice of clothes, these basic necessities are compromised. For us to evolve and make a better place to coexist together, there needs to be a transformation and I believe we are doing it at Fuzia.”
Also, to mention, there are still many firsts to be achieved by women. “In many towns, education is still a taboo for women. Society has its opinions curated in third world countries expecting a woman to belong to home, whereas she can belong to the world and beyond. At the workplace, period holidays are still not normalized, sanitary pads still have taxes on them. Maternity leave is still far beyond discussion. In villages, sanitary hygiene is still a dream for many. We go on and on, but this list doesn’t stop here. There needs to be some laws for basic rights of a woman. As a woman, we are responsible to lift each other and help ourselves as much as possible, and for all men out there supporting us, we are grateful. But let’s address these issues, let’s start with the basics and then build a strong foundation for women, because we, for sure, are worthy of it,” she explains.
The Super Woman!
“Well, women have superpowers and since I am one, I have mine,” says Shraddha with a satisfied smile on her face while elaborating on the art of striking a balance between her personal and professional life.
“It’s clearly not easy to be the leader here and take care of life otherwise. But then, I have a community and our work gives priority to self-care, mental health, and healthy work breaks. When I am at work, I am dedicated fully here, and I don’t mix my work timings with my personal life timings. To be fully attentive and productive at work, I make a to-do list and set timings for it. I adhere to my strict rules created for myself. When I’m not working, I keep my phone aside, spend some quality time with myself and family. I ensure I take care of my mental health and I work out, do daily meditation which helps me keep calm,” she shares.
“For us, as individuals, it is important to spend time in nature apart from work, with yourself or family. Take some time out for the sunsets and little pleasures of life. What can I say, I am a pretty poetic woman!” avers Shraddha.
Furthermore, Shraddha talks about some taboos that still prevail in our society.
- Slut Shaming: Women have always been successful in pulling out all the barriers that have come in their way to transform their vision into reality. However, it is but a shame that since ever, women have been slut shamed, embarrassed and insulted for dressing in a sexual way, having sexual feelings, and literally for just existing. People with shallow minds are ‘slut shamers’ who tend to intimidate women with both their personal and professional life. Women have already come far and have overcome what only has gotten a term like such only today. The real fact is that women of high caliber do not have enough time to even respond to such shaming. Women today are instead focussing on self-growth and devote their time in creating an impact in their own space and I think that is incredible.
- Body Shaming: The world runs behind perfectionism. I agree. But at the same time, Is there any inner peace in one’s existence? I believe that striving for excellence is greater than perfectionism. Progress is more important than perfection. Being perfect has a deadline in itself where it will be impossible for anybody to measure their level of personal growth. What happens after being perfect? Is there any end or beginning? How does it sound? It is merely impossible for one to be accurately perfect. However, being perfectly imperfect is appreciable in every way.
Imperfections are considered to be okay and very normal because that is where one tends to analyze and take actions for bringing betterments in how they look naturally. Body Positivity is when we love ourselves for who we are. Being dark skinned and overweight is also ranked to be beautiful in the same world where we live. Less is always more! Let’s appreciate our efforts each day in becoming a better version of ourselves.
- Age Gap Between Girls and Their Husbands: Marriage is a bond made between the two people who are willing to accept each other and themselves for who they are. They have a very deep sense of mutual understanding to encourage, appreciate and honor each other by supporting them to achieve their goals in life. Of course, society has its own parameters in defining marriage. But that is not how trust and love are measured between the individuals. It is the journey of two and they are more responsible for making their own decisions. Some might feel awkward while seeing a girl married to a younger boy, but the world is changing. And this is certainly setting an example in more sense than one. Freedom of choice is the right of every individual. To choose their companion for life irrespective of barriers like age, gender, caste, religion etc is what we all should strive at. We must never forget that we have evolved over years and are still evolving!