I've only been in India for about a week, but so far, this has been one of the most interesting parts of my visit. Pictured above are some of the older women from another neighboring village to Lotki who I taught. Not many women came because in that specific village, women are generally not allowed out of their houses. Furthermore, many are afraid of going out alone due to demeaning stares by men and fear of violence.
I taught self defense maneuvers such as wrist grabbing, chokeholds and more. We also practiced punching and blocking. I unfortunately couldn't teach any kicks due to the traditional attire they were wearing. When I asked if they were able to wear any other attire, they said they have to only wear that and also could not expose their heads because the men do not like their wives exposed in any way. Often, when going out, the women would put the cloth on their head completely over their faces. This was not religious (as is in the Muslim culture or other religions), but was patriarchal and cultural in the rural setting. It was sad how dominated the women were by their husbands and other males in society.
After about 30 minutes, the women got pretty tired so we discussed empowering women. The best way to empower a women is to encourage her to become a leader in her community. Doing service and support other women in pursuing small business ventures, helping a women who is being abused by her husband, or even encouraging the next generation of daughters to become educated to escape their circumstances