Gender Equality Today for an Equal Tomorrow
Normally “days” are declared with the intention of doing or celebrating that particular thing on that day. Family Day, Valentines Day, Mother Earth Day, Malaria Day, World Cancer Day, Day of Social Justice, etc. etc. It is assumed that on normal days, we do not give importance on these topics so at the least on these defined days, activities are planned and executed to commemorate these days. Looking to this context, is an International Women’s Day justified or needed?
I know worldwide women are suffering abuse and not getting the right kind of respect and position in the world. But have we ever thought of the reasons behind all this? Why do women need a women’s day?
To a certain extent, women are responsible for their own fate. Yes it’s a man’s world as earlier generations where work was mostly labor oriented and those that needed physical strength, men were more suited for those jobs whereas women took up the responsibilities of house and kids. But over the years with more intellectual and office work profiles coming up, women have started coming out of their typecast profile of a home maker and children’s sole responsibility. They have started becoming bolder and more dynamic. So can we still dare to say it’s a man’s world? Should women silently accept that they are struggling to prosper in a man’s world? Would successful women entrepreneurs like Indra Nooyi, Priyanka Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, etc. give excuses and keep lamenting about their struggles in a man’s world? Yes it may have been difficult for them to begin with but tell me has it ever been a cake walk for men?
In today’s societal norms, women go down traditions that are forced upon them not only by their in-laws but also by their own parents. Many women still consider their husbands to be “God like” and ultimate and can never think of doing anything against them. Once married, women feel that this is it, now it’s done. Even if the partner is abusive or ill-treating, they still serve him and accept everything forced upon them. They accept the life with compromise and constantly keep adjusting as per the spouse and his parents.
Is this still prevalent or is this the thing of the past? If it’s still prevalent, is it because of the kind and giving innate nature of women or is it because they feel helpless and are forced upon to accept the norms of the society. I am a feminist and completely despise the above situation forced upon women, but sometimes I feel that if parents train and teach their daughters their rights and make them mentally and physically strong and stand behind them if situation so arises, girls would surely live a much better and respected lives then they do right now. Personally, I have seen that in a relationship where the wife is strong and does not accept shit thrown on her, those marriages tend to survive longer- atleast they are healthier. But with the increase in the rate of divorces, don’t know what is the true reason? Liberty and freedom as needed by women or decrease in patience and more options as more open society?
On the other hand, its time for women to also think about liberty and freedom as their own right and not as something they expect from their partner. In today’s world, women are given equal opportunities in almost all walks of life. Why does a woman feel that earning to pay the house EMI, spend for the children, save and investing for the future is a man’s job? Why does she depend on her husband for doing ‘out of home’ jobs? Why is banking, insurances, investments, travel, etc. an exclusive man’s domain? Why is it taken for granted that managing the house, development of children, and house chores are woman’s domain?
I know in today’s world, what I have just mentioned doesn’t hold water for a certain percentage of women, but the question is, what is that minute percentage? Isn’t it time women take it upon themselves that you get what you work for and deserve. Similarly the spouse, in-laws, etc. should get what they deserve. Break free, plan your future, live your life queen sized, and be truly free…feel genuinely liberated. After all, unless one speaks out, voices out one’s desires and defines the aim of life, nothing will be offered on a platter.
I have heard about some women who despite everything continue to accept whatever is thrown at them. They want to be free but cannot take the step because of social pressures, because of their lack of confidence of handling worldly matters, because of the fact that even their own parents might not stand by them. Need of the day is that situations and conditions should be so made, attitudes should be so imbibed that the true value should be appreciated and brought out.
So on this International Women’s Day, let everyone truly work towards a true equality. Sympathy should be out of question- Men do not need to sympathise on women and neither does women sympathise upon her own self. Most of the parts of the world, equality is being talked upon and the onus lies on both to work towards it. Agree there are certain parts of the world where it will take a much longer time to truly value and respect all genders but then the journey of a million steps starts with the first step. A very happy women’s day to all!!!