Our special series dedicated to Women’s Day features interviews with women who have contributed not only to their fields of study, but to society at large, these inspiring and empowering women in a multitude of ways, be it by raising their voices against issues that impact women, or simply by offering a helping hand, they are doing it all with a great deal of elan. As part of the series, we spoke to Devina Kaur who gave us some of her thoughts about the most pressing issues she feels need to be addressed. Devina is an inspirational speaker, author, radio host, and the founder of Sexy Brilliant Non-Profit Foundation and author of a spiritual self-help book titled -Too Fat, Too Loud, Too Ambitious. Here are excerpts from the interview:
On overcoming challenges and becoming successful
Challenges come on the path to true success, and nobody is exempt from experiencing difficulties that will ultimately test our strength and courage. My journey has been filled with many
challenges, from overcoming addictions, to living a lonely life in the world of a start-up business, to going through a divorce, to being a full time single mother. It’s not easy. However, I am
thankful for the entire journey because not only have I grown from my experiences but I’ve learned alot from them while inspiring others to do the same. I always say there is strength in
numbers and that means actively seeking out support from people that love you and you look up too and want to be good support structures in your life. When you are surrounded by spiritually wise, genuine people you will be more inclined to find joy in daily things. This will motivate you to achieve your goals and allow your challenges to seem less of a burden to you. If you are struggling with dark thoughts, remember that no part of you is your own enemy. Welcome every moment and feeling and treat every emotion like a gift; never be ashamed to seek professional help to grow into a version of yourself that you would be proud of—in spite of all the difficulties you face, know they will shape you into a stronger, more resilient person.
Against most pressing issues women face today
The world has been in a constant state of change since the early 1900s. Women have been fighting for their rights, and thanks to the many historical moments we women are now more
empowered than ever before. We have made progress in many areas, but there is still a long way to go. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India national family health survey report from the year 2006, more than 39% of urban women between the ages of 30-40 have experienced physical violence at the hands of someone. In the same report it is mentioned that the experience of sexual violence for urban women between the ages of 25-29 is more than 10%. Given the above statistics it is clear to say that gender based violence exists even in the urban dwellings and liberated class. When we talk about women being fully liberated we must also include the rural sector of our country. Sadly, the statistics for violence against rural women is much higher. Overall we need a systematic change, in our value system and in our society. There are still many pressing issues that need to be addressed, like the gender pay gap and sexual harassment in the workplace. It is important that we work together to create an environment where women feel safe and valued.
On maintaining a healthy balance between work & life
An entrepreneur by definition is a risk-taker. They are empowered to create, organize, shape the world of business. They are special because they choose to take on responsibility not only for themselves but also the people in their intimate world including their employees. Often times an entrepreneur has the power to do what they want with their business lives, but that also means that they need to be careful not to neglect themselves or their loved ones in the process.
Personally being a workaholic this is especially true to be able to maintain and manage all your relationships including being a full-time single mother. Entrepreneurship is a demanding lifestyle that requires you to be constantly on your toes and making decisions at a moments notice. The entrepreneur needs to have an understanding of who they are as an individual and how that impacts the people around them. It is important for entrepreneurs to know what they need in order to maintain a healthy balance between work and life – whether it be time off, more hours in the day, more money or just more patience! The most important thing is to have fun.
We should be proud of our sexuality to stop slut shaming
I believe that slut shaming is wrong because it makes people feel guilty about their own bodies and what they choose to do with them. It’s unfair to judge someone based on their sexuality, their body or the clothes that they wear. I am all for women’s empowerment and I believe that we should not let anyone put us down for what we do with our bodies. We should be proud of our sexuality, not ashamed of it! It’s important that we change our mindset about how we see sexuality in order to stop slut shaming.
Remember a woman doesn’t have to choose between her spiritual side vs her sexual side, her ambitious side vs her maternal side. All parts of you are the same whole, embrace yourself and your divine sexy brilliant being.
Body shaming has to cease in all its forms
I believe that body shaming is a form of discrimination and should be treated as such. I have never liked when people would call me fat or say that I was too heavy. Such comments made me feel so bad about myself and my size and I always felt like I was not good enough because of my weight. It should be illegal to shame someone because of their weight or their body size. Body shaming has become more prevalent in our society and it needs to end. The idea that women should always be thin and beautiful is a complete myth. The idea itself stems from the commercialization of our emotions, it is not something that we should aspire to. Women’s bodies are beautiful in every size and shape. We need to stop this body shaming culture which is prevalent in our society today. Women empowerment starts with accepting ourselves for who we are and not what society has told us to be. We need to teach people that it is okay to love themselves and not worry about what others think of them. We also need to teach people how they can change their body image without having surgery or frantically dieting every day. This is something I have always been very against. I believe that everyone should be able to love themselves and feel comfortable with their body.
It is not wrong for older women to form relationships with younger men
In the past, women were considered to be a financial burden for their families. But now, with the help of technology, education, awareness, and better economic conditions, women are more likely to have a successful marriage with men who are equally conscientious. The divine feminine power of women has been restored in this generation. Women are now empowered and they can find love on their own terms. Another point of view is that this difference in ages leads to better sex life for a couple where the woman is older than the man, as women often reach their sexual peak in their 40’s and a strong sexual intimacy and understanding between partners make an impact in other areas of the relationship also. In the spiritual world, the big age gap between women and their husbands is not seen as a problem, unfortunately, the shaming problem still exists in most societies. The difference in ages can be empowering for women and men alike because older women have more experience and can take charge when necessary in a relationship. It all starts with self-knowledge and then radical self-acceptance.
Devina Kaur, inspirational speaker, author, radio host
Divya Khanna is the youngest member of the team, with a background in political science. She has joined High on persona print magazine in order to gain hands-on experience in various aspects of editorial coordination as associate editor of the magazine and news site. She has a penchant for writing and enjoys meeting new people and interviewing celebrities. She has a passion for writing, she has an eye for details, loves traveling, and a quick learner. She comes from the Mecca of Indian Journalism, Delhi.
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