Women of substance

A compliment to her personality and character.
By Dr. Rameeza.A.Rasheed
Whenever any discussion is held during Women’s Day celebration week or any VIP woman talks on women empowerment to create awareness among girls or any resource person in gender economics talks on woman power during college seminars or workshops they touch upon the concept of “women of substance’. The general definitions of this concept are – “A woman of substance is someone whose life has meaning and purpose.” “A woman of substance would be a woman who has strong character, is consistent, has more to her than meets the eye and has a variety of interests outside and within her home and family. “ “She is interesting to know; she possesses a depth of personality and character.” The general perception is, to be branded a woman of substance, is one of the greatest compliments one can give a woman.
Women of substance

Keeping in mind all these definitions I was trying to find out whether I have come across such women in my life. I kindled my memory to recollect some facts about my role model women, like my mother, one aunt, one colleague and one or two teachers during my college years. I also remembered a few women who have bravely tackled their crises in their life successfully. Here is the narration of three such women who are, according to me, in the category of women of substance.

The first case is related to an acid attack victim. She is Suganya (name changed) when she was in the final year of her degree course. A fellow student who had been harassing her with a love proposal for nearly six months got frustrated over her refusal to his offer. His anger against her reached the maximum when the complaint made by her to the college principal ended up in his suspension for one month from college. He organized an acid attack on her through paid goons when she was returning from college. She suffered massive damage to her face, neck, and chest and had to undergo nearly 20 plastic surgeries before the wounds were healed. They were the days of physical and mental sufferings. Wounds were healed in course of time, but she suffered the end of her happy-go-lucky life. She was a popular girl in college due to her music, acting and oratory skills. Now, her face is beyond recognition due to disfigurement. Her looks were above average and she was a fair girl with good personality. She drowned in the deep depression due to the enormous expenditure borne by her parents for her treatment and the isolation due to the friend’s and neighbour’s sympathetic attitude towards her ugly appearance. In those difficult days she read lot of self-help books, biographies of persons like Helen Keller and the narration of victims of sexual violence. These were inspirational stories, no doubt. But the acid attack is the cruelest punishment that can be given to any girl. It kills the desire to live since there is nothing to look forward in life. Her ambition for higher  studies, a high-profile job, marriage and a family of her dream were crushed forever. Her own family members hesitated to face her and carry on a normal conversation. Her social contacts came to an abrupt end.
real woman

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