Today is March 08 and is celebrated as the International Women’s Day. So, I wish all the wonderful women out in this wondrous world a very happy Women’s Day (not only today, but everyday :-))
I particularly liked this year’s theme #EachForEqual #IWD2020.
An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let's all be #EachforEqual.
If we look at the social media and any public platform, we see articles, tweets, news flashes, advertisements, and all sorts of messages highlighting the importance of women, women empowerment, gender equality, etc.
So, what is Empowerment?
Empowerment is basically one’s ability to do something about one’s needs, wants, opinions, beliefs, and feelings. Yes, women were oppressed by men (it still is the came in many parts of the world. But, we have many examples in the world’s history and also in our own families wherein some strong-willed women have taken control of the situation and have made a positive difference in the society / in their family even in those days when they weren’t allowed to go to School / got married very young. Such exemplary cases kind of indicate that women could do what they wanted to do if they really wished and tried; the age / period that they lived in didn’t block them!
The world needs both men and women to function properly. Let us look at the very beginning of human race: The Divine Force that created these two genders had great clarity in the division of labour and the very anatomy of man and woman was designed to handle those tasks. No matter what scientists / doctors do, it is only a woman who can give birth!
These days (barring some parts of the world where women are still oppressed and facing many hardships), women are doing / achieving pretty much everything men are doing, in some cases, more than what men have achieved.
While the society empowered girls / ladies by educating them, letting them enter the work force, climb up the career ladder, etc., a few aspects, such as Women are still responsible for cooking / serving meals at home, Taking care of household chores is primarily a Woman’s job, A male child is needed to continue the family’s name!, Bride’s side needs to be submissive and heed to Bridegroom’s family’s demands / respect their needs, Children’s well-being is primarily a Mother’s responsibility so ingrained in the society’s mind remained!! Women are expected to perform these tasks even when they are working and earning money (sometimes more than their husband) to support the family’s needs. Even some women feel guilty when they aren’t able to juggle these tasks with their career and they beat themselves up for it!
The worst offender in many cases are Women themselves. Still there are women wishing for only male children either for themselves or for their female relatives, treating their Sons as little kids not capable of taking care of themselves and expecting their daughters-in-law or daughters to chip in whenever / wherever needed. Women who might have experienced inequality / gender discrimination during their childhood / married life continue to make some unfavourable remarks about being a girl child / a woman.
Another remark that we hear (at least in India), a person needs a male child to perform his / her last rites!! Is that the only responsibility of a male child? I guess such protocol was there in the olden days as the girls of the family got married and they left their maternal home and the boys of that family lived with them. So, the boy would be in charge of such tasks. Nowadays, in most of the families, no children, doesn’t matter boy or girl, stay with their parents; they move out of their parents’ place either for education or employment. Parents live by themselves. Whoever is closer will come to their parents’ help when needed, which makes perfect logical sense. So, doesn’t it sound absurd that one needs a male child to lit one’s funeral pyre!!
So, we as Women, as IWD 2020’s theme indicates, need to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions, actively question the stereotypes and defy gender discrimination.
A few pointers to empower ourselves:
- Stay Grounded; be calm and connect with your inner-self.
- Focus on the challenges that you / others are facing and take concrete steps to address those, be it in your family or at workplace.
- Don’t let things overwhelm you.
- Practise self-care, patience, and positivism.
- Be resilient.
- Say No to things that hurt your self-esteem.
- Don’t complain, find a solution.
- Prioritize your time and tasks
- Remember the power of Positive thoughts, meditation, and prayer.
- Bless those who curse / ill-treat you; this works like a magic. If you get hurt or try to take revenge, you are hurting yourself first. So, just convert others’ negative energy to positive energy.
- Ultimately, be happy no matter what.