Sarita Skagnes’ autobiography, ”Just a Daughter” is tragic and touching evidence of the situation of many women.
Sarita was born in Punjab in India to a family that already has two daughters. Her parents, who dearly wanted a son, turn their disappointment towards the newborn baby girl and exchange her for a boy, a boy they adopt as their own son. When the rest of the family moves to Norway, Sarita is left behind in Punjab to work as a maidservant. In practice - Sarita becomes a slave.
16 year old Sarita finally reunites with her family in Norway. However, the change of surroundings doesn’t change her situation; Sarita continues to be a victim in her male dominated home. But in this new home country of hers, the young woman now becomes aware of her own rights and opportunities and, finally, develops into a strong activist for and defender of the rights of many oppressed persons.
”Just a Daughter” is undeniable evidence of the hopeless and tragic situations faced by many in this world. However, it is also inspirational; breaking away from the circle of violence and subjugation IS possible.The publishing of this autobiography in Norway and the media attention that followed led to Sarita’s becoming well-known in the entire country.
In Norway, Sarita Skagnes hasbeen awarded the “Åpenhets-pris”, openness and honesty award, for her book, “Bare en Datter”. She has given lectures in schools, universities and many large gatherings to tell the story of her life and mostly to give young people the motivation and strength to dare take their own path.