New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Actress Malaika Arora says that she has been brought up in a household where she was always taught to express herself freely and this is what she expects from others too.
For her, freedom of expression is essential for both men and women and change will happen if women start motivating each other.
When asked what motivates her girl squad that includes Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor and Amrita Arora to be fit to fight, Malaika told IANS in an email interview from Mumbai: "Women should motivate each other and that is where change happens when women motivate each other, when women uplift each other, when women stand for each other.
"You know it that woman is your worse enemy, a woman can pull you down, so I think it's important that women should motivate each other."
Recalling one instance, she said: "I remember an instance, when after my baby I was going back to be fit again. It was not an easy task for me, it was a challenge. I think every mother has to deal with it, but the good thing was I had people around me to motivate me and push me to do better and I think that really helps."
The mother of one, who is a part of the Reebok Fashionably Fit Family, was present at the brand's FitToFight Awards 2.0 in Mumbai. The night witnessed the brand felicitating women nominees from across the country for their spirit and courage.
Malaika, who is currently seen hosting "India's Next Top Model Season 3", says that "for her, FitToFight is a daily approach."
"It is not just about hitting a gym, lifting weights, touching the toes or bending. It is a way of life. It is physical, mental and emotional. Fitness is worship for me purely because it helps my mind, body and soul," she said.
Talking about women's rights, the actress says that there are so many things that one needs to consider.
"There are so many issues that we women daily deal with on a regular basis. I think it's important to stand up for your rights, fight for your rights, to speak your mind because somewhere I feel a large part of us tends to be suppressed.
"We don't speak out, we don't say, and I sometimes even say that about myself, ‘let it be, forget about it' because what's the point but that's wrong. We have to change that attitude as we cannot sit back and say forget it, what's going to come out of it, we will deal with it at a later point. We need to deal with it in that moment and far more real and everyday basis," she said.
And that's the reason why freedom of expression is very important.
"It is something which is our right, its fundamental right that we have and luckily, I have been brought up in a household where we have always been taught and encouraged to express ourselves, very freely.
"We have never ever felt suppressed or felt like not say something that will hurt somebody. It's always been to speak your mind as that's the only way that people will know what we want to say, and I am glad that we have had that kind of upbringing," she said.
Malaika added: "My mother is someone who speaks her mind, she doesn't think twice, and she is all for woman and woman power and I am again really glad that I have had that kind of an environment and I do have a son and, yet I do tell him to speak his mind and if I would have a daughter I have said the same.
"For me there is no differentiation in a girl child or a boy child. I am grateful that in today's day and age, thankfully most of us are like that. Thanks to the education and the upbringing that we have got and there is no differentiation."
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])