Sexual harassment is still one of the barriers for women to freely work and develop their careers. A woman named Petchiammal in India was even disguised as a man in order to earn money and peace. This was done for the sake of the child after her husband suddenly died.
Petchiammal’s story is proof of how women from all over the world are not completely safe at work and even at activities. Pechiammal admits that he had to disguise himself as a man in order to be free from sexual harassment and to be able to earn money for food. This was done by a woman from Thoothukudi, for 36 years until she changed her gender identity on her identity card.
“I lost my husband, Siva, 15 days after the wedding. I was only 20 years old when I gave birth to Shanmugasundari. I decided not to remarry but raising my own child was difficult. I worked in a building construction , hotels and tea. But I find abuse in those places, “he said.
Petchiammal Photo: Doc. The new Indian express
Pachiammal had to continue to seek an income despite being confronted with harassment, and finally Pachiammal decided to change his identity. It is said that he went to the Tiruchendur Murugan temple and changed into a shirt with lungi or sarong, and called himself Muthu.
“We have lived in Kattunayakkanpatti for 20 years. Only close relatives in the village and my son know that I am a woman,” she said.
Even though she had planned to not remarry, Petchiammal now met someone who could be her boyfriend. But because he has disguised himself as a man for a long time, the 57-year-old woman is already comfortable and not ready to return to the woman.
“This identity aims to ensure a safe life for my child. I will be Muthu until I die,” said the woman listed as a man on the identity card.
Unfortunately Petchiammal’s masquerade as a man also had an unpleasant impact. She admitted that her body was tired of manual labor and could not ask for financial assistance as a widow. “I don’t have a home or savings. I can’t get a widow’s certificate either. Since I’m too old to work, I ask the government for financial assistance,” he said.
(ami / ami)