On 8th of March every year there is so much hype about everything about women. Suddenly the social media and print media is flooded with interviews and articles on women, their issues, their struggle, success stories, reforms, discussions, etc .. The day STARTS AS IF THE SUN has risen from the WEST. Frankly, in my opinion there is nothing as such to be cheerful about this day, unless the entire world is free from GENDER BIAS. For me celebrating Women’s day is meaningless, unless EVERY WOMAN IS EMPOWERED AND FEELS SAFE (its not only about just being safe).
Empowerment is about being given authority and power to do something.
Empowerment is about becoming stronger and confident.
Empowerment means to become aware of one’s rights and privileges.
Empowerment also means the ability to control one’s life in a more meaningful and fulfilling way.
We have witnessed many Indian women empowered on national and international level. Indira Gandhi, Prathibha Patil, Rani Lakhsmibai of Jhansi, Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi, Kiran Bedi, Arundathi Bhattacharya, Bachendri Pal, the list goes on. Be it politics, sports, space exploration, research and development, social work, performing arts, defence, finance, martial arts, women have conquered the peak of Mount Everest in respective fields. No doubt, in every finance bill, reforms will get better and better. There will always be a tremendous transformation taking place in social lives of Indian women at the same time.
Now let me point out, that social reformation alone is not enough for women empowerment. The mind-set of society, also has to keep pace. To ensure this transition takes place, laws have to be enacted. Several laws have been enacted to ensure the safety and protection of women especially in the workplace. It is sad, that there still needs to be a radical change in the way women are viewed in society.
Society Largely can be segregated into three parts. The rich, educated and self independent women forms one part, the middle class working women who is also family oriented can be the second and the third may comprise of women belonging to the lowest class (daily wage earner, women from backward areas, etc). There seems to be a huge gap between all three strata’s. It is very crucial to uplift the lowest class and empower the 2nd and 3rd class women, to truly make every day a women’s day. So, I am not touching upon the self independent women and that class of society, as a lot of work needs to be done at the other two classes of the society.
That is the need of the hour. I wish our media could bombard us, with cases from our neighborhood where a normal woman fights for her basic rights and wins. This rather than how Malaika is happy and made it, big in business ventures post her divorce.
Talking about the middle and the lower class in the society, its generally seems that a woman gets educated, earns a well-paid job and then suddenly finds herself being bargained for in the marriage market. This is sad and tragic. I have seen well educated parents, prepared to support their sons for higher studies, however reluctant to educate their daughters further. Its definitely disappointing, that every girl has to prove herself (in terms of social skills, cooking skills, etc ) when moving into the new family irrespective of being a love marriage or an arranged one. Suddenly, a bright girl with a promising career, finds herself trying to prove her art and skills in things that were immaterial to her and her own family.
There are numerous cases where those married against their parent’s wishes are left to handle their problems on their own!! Not getting support from either family ultimately the girl has to juggle between husband, home, office than a child (oh yes!! the family pressure after 1 yr into marriage)….a total mess. Ultimately the woman either gives in or walks out. If she gives in, she will repent all her life for the compromise she makes, and if she walks out the society has a different way of looking at the situation. We cannot judge everyone wearing the same specs of our upbringing, our values and our lifestyle. Each person is brought up with some values system some particular ideology. Unless we respect the differences, there will be no harmony in any relation, isn’t it?
My personal opinion, is that the women who leaves her compromising life, to find liberty that makes her happy is truly emancipated, she is empowered in true sense. This is because she had the guts to choose, she made her choice, she corrected her past one. Whatever be, she took a decision that she felt was right for her, without coming under any social pressure.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many problems women have to face on daily bases. Women are still facing dowry deaths, acid attacks, physical and verbal abuse, honor killing, sexual harassment, no freedom of dressing. We need to stop all of this first. A Massive change for the empowerment of women has to begin, and be sustained at the grass roots level. Assurance of employment, maintenance of good physical and emotional health should also be priorities, as far as women empowerment is concerned. Emotional health of women is a herculean task and not even touched upon. An emotionally healthy woman is the need of this generation and the ones to come. Be it at any age, the stress that a woman undergoes is incomparable because she is playing numerous roles at the same time. And as the world advances, she will find more liberty, more freedom that will only cause more complications in her life as on every juncture she will have to make a choice, a choice of her will over the general practice. She will have to stay strong to complete her journey that she chooses. The day, there will be
- No pressure on girls in our neighborhood, our own homes to leave studies (if they get to be educated in the first place),
- No pressure to get married, No pressure to present herself in a way ‘appropriate’ to the society
- No pressure to be a parent, No pressure to continue a stagnant relationship,
- No pressure to cook, No pressure to do all the home chores all by herself,
- No pressure on selecting certain careers and not selecting some….
- that would be the True WOMEN’S DAY would make me extremely Happy.
SALUTING THE WOMEN WHO HAVE MADE US PROUD & WISHING ALL THE STRENGTH, TO THE WOMEN, THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S day.
Let us make EACH DAY A WOMENS DAY, only then we can celebrate it in its true essence.