March 8th is International Women’s day. There are many special events happening across the world. In the corporate front, diversity drives and inclusions are happening to woo women into their organizations. If you ask me, the retail stores, chocolate vendors, jewelers, and florists make the most of Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. In fact, they are the ones who have made these days the hottest commodities! Sadly, I never see them bringing some change to the way they behave to the women in general. There are special events organized at hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and maybe some clubs too. But beyond that, does anything change?
Every day, invariably the local papers scream about some atrocities or the other happening against women in the state and across the nation. When I search the internet, it seems more or less the same across the world too! Isn’t it strange that the more we become educated, the more we adopt technology and modernity, the less we are ready to accept Gender Equality? Now, you will call me a feminist! But then, all I ask you, the ‘civilized’, ‘educated’, ‘ultra-modern’ society (read men and women), is to accept all genders (now that the 3rd gender has also become official) as equal. Why can humans accept each other as peers? Why do we need to discriminate – as men and women, as blacks and whites, as rich and poor? Are all these going to change with such celebrations? No way!!! So it is some sort of gimmick to attract attention.
What else happens? Yes, of course! The women’s affair department (where you have them) will invariably come up with yet another rule or law favoring women. Well, what happens to the existing laws and reforms? I don’t want to seem too negative or skeptical about whatever the government is doing. But then, whatever has been happening around us definitely make us feel that it is nothing but another law or reform which will not yield any good for the women who actually deserve it.
Yes, the female foeticide rate has decreased
Yes, the dowry-based issues have decreased
Yes, girl children are getting more opportunities for education
Yes, women have more reservations in many fields, including governance!
Yes, more women are able to raise their voice against discrimination and abuse
But has the attitude changed? No, right!
The atrocities against women are at an all-time high!
Women are still treated as commodities in many walks of life!
Women are still oppressed and suppressed in many communities!
That’s where the real change has to happen. Bring about changes in the way women are being treated. That’s what is going to help women. That’s the biggest gift the society can give a woman. It all starts with the family. Respect the women at home – be it your mother, sister, wife, daughter or friend. Treat them just the way you would treat a fellow man. I am sure that no woman would want to be treated superior to men. They just want to be treated equally – nothing more, nothing less.
What happens in the Asian family scenario is that the women of the family are ‘protected’! This goes overboard and becomes retention or restriction imposed upon her. Don’t talk to men, don’t mingle with them, don’t travel with them, don’t trust them, don’t go alone, don’t travel after dark, don’t wear such dresses, don’t speak loudly, don’t do this, don’t do that and so on and so forth! Once you impose these restrictions on a girl from a young age, she starts feeling inferior naturally and loses her purpose. She then raises another generation continuing this discrimination imposed upon her.
This is an age when women are reaching for the other planets. Women scientists are making rockets and launching satellites. Women leaders like Kiran Bedi, Chithra Ramakrishnan, and Arundhati Bhattacharya are leading the society, corporate and public sector organizations, setting examples for the next generation. They are all fighters. It’s time women realize their own power – the power to lead, to manage people, to fight, to nurture, to show empathy, to stay strong, to be what they are – the true ‘Shakti’!
The truth cannot be denied that women are definitely blessed naturally with compassion, love, wit, tact, brains and strength. Motherhood not only makes them stronger, it also mellows them down to be more compassionate. It makes them think more empathetically about the others. It entitles them with a sense of authority as well as leadership. They are natural leaders and managers. They multitask so flawlessly that others can only watch in awe!
Be the change and see to it that the women you know get a chance – to be equal, to excel and to win their good share of this beautiful world. That’s the best gift you can give to the women you love, to the society and to the country as a whole.