Imagine a household bereft of a woman; imagine your world deprived of one. With international women’s day just having gone by, it’s time to doff one’s hat to the various roles women play.
So, like every year, while International Women’s Day was celebrated worldwide on March 8, having been instituted way back in 1909, the truth is its purpose is as relevant today as even before.
Women everywhere need to be treated as equals no doubt, but there is also a need to be recognised for their strength and achievements.
Balance for better
Every year the campaign theme is a sort of call-to-action, one emphasizing the need to create a more gender-balanced world, one that is proactive on all levels with women’s empowerment, whether pertaining to economic, social or political issues. ‘Balance for better’ is the theme of 2019. Whether the significance of this call is all about civil awareness, women and girl recognition, anti-sexism or anti-discrimination, it is a day that celebrates womanhood globally.
While International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress women worldwide have made in different fields, commend and applaud those few who had the foresight and determination of their vision and extraordinary courage, let us not forget that at the epicentre of every unit exists a woman, one who is the driving force behind those wheels of that well-oiled machinery called domestic bliss. The roles she plays in one lifetime as a mother, sister, wife or daughter is cause enough for celebration, but coupled with her juggling abilities to hold down that fort of household responsibilities along with the demands of a workplace, in my books her achievement are way up there!
Imagine a household bereft of a woman, imagine your world deprived of one!
Deprived of Status
While Woman’s Day celebrates women’s history, her emancipation, often highlighting key events, achievements and milestones to raise awareness, promote equal opportunities for her in all walks of life, the sad truth is that often in certain parts of the world and, especially in certain cultures, women are not accredited as being equal with men, thus depriving them of basic rights and status.
There is enough evidence now to support the claim that a gender-diverse workplace does indeed produce real benefits. Studies also show that a gender-diverse workplace is not only good for financial returns, employee engagement, innovation and reducing turnover but most gender-diverse businesses also resonate with a wider customer base. Yet, women are still deprived of the opportunity.
And while we as women raise flags and protestations, seek wider platforms and march the streets demanding equal status from the other half of the population, the question here is should it really be only about gender disparity? Is it then fair to lay all that ire and disproportion blame squarely on men alone?
Are not injustices, inequalities and unfair treatment being met out to women for generations, sadly from their own kind? Think back on all the times when you have been discriminated against and chances are it could well be that dragon-lady a.k.a your boss, a colleague from work or that friend who has hidden agenda; you should well have been mistreated by that daughter-in-law or mother-in-law.
So while we demand equality from the other half of the gender bender in matters of education, employment, inheritance, marriage, politics and recently, in field of religion too, should we not be demanding fairness from our mothers; patience from our mother-in-law, understanding and compassion from our female friends?
The need of the hour is to clean up the imbalances in our own gender-centric homes, with a whole bunch of self-realisation and inward reflection. While we strive to enhance equivalence from the rest of the world, we also need to improve our position “as women amongst women”.
We must consciously strive towards a more complete view of womanhood, gentled with gender infused an understanding of love and respect. Be a woman of worth with your own kind, be the first to appreciate another’s success, the one to applaud the loudest at another’s triumph.
Be the kind of woman that senses a cry for help from another, much before her complete meltdown. The kind of woman who provides support to her tribe and not one that creates divides. Be the type of woman that sets a trend not just by her fashion sense but as a result of her commonsense. Be the kind of woman who is self-sufficient in her own capabilities, achievements and skills but is never shy to ask for help when needed.
Be the woman who succeeds and triumphs after every fall, the kind who fixes another’s crown silently but, most of all, is the kind of woman who sets an example, the kind that someday your daughter may want to emulate.
So while the world celebrated this international woman’s day with a campaign theme of ‘Balance for better’, let us endeavour to make a difference with no gender agendas. Let’s work instead on being women of substance, beautiful inside out, strong in spirit, determined in grit, to be balanced for ourselves with a better understanding of life and a kinder compassion for the world we live in, regardless of being men or women.
~Veera Shroff Sanjana