International Women’s Day just passed by, and the world buzzed with activity. Women achievers were recognized, marches and seminars were held, and awards were bestowed. There was a deluge of interesting talks and discussions that focused on equality and female empowerment. No second thoughts, it is indeed a wonderful idea to dedicate a month to women and celebrate their accomplishments in all fields and walks of life.
Leaving aside those women who have been publicly acknowledged, we the commoners have also had our share of happiness overflowing the brim. We have had those notes coming in to remind us how wonderful we are. We have wished each other with lovely messages to express our solidarity and glorify our womanhood.
But the question remains: “What after that?” Are we done for the year till the event comes again in 2023? Or can we keep the ball rolling to solidify women’s rightful place in society? When I say “we”, I wish to emphasize that women, along with men, have the responsibility to pave the road to fairness.
Inspiring words come from Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai: “So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard”. The hashtag #WomenForWomen keeps making its rounds in social media. Well, we need to carry that out in spirit and action. The journey will remain incomplete unless women support other women, respect them for who they are, and give them the liberty to make their own decisions.
Appreciate fellow women, give them a shoulder to lean on!
It is vital to build a camaraderie with each other if we seek to promote the causes of women and establish a better place for our sorority. In both the personal and professional spheres, women need to be each other’s allies.
Kind words can be unbelievingly therapeutic in boosting one’s morale. If someone deserves the praise for what she has done, be generous enough to shower those compliments. Make a woman feel that she is being celebrated even for the tiniest of acts.
Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg strongly believes in the power of women supporting one another. The global community LeanIn.Org is her brain child, pursuing an objective to help women achieve their ambitions. She cites the example of how her grandmother, who was poor and diagnosed with breast cancer in her thirties, later focused on helping women in similar situations.
In a recent interview to CNBC, Sandberg spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, amongst other topics, and voiced her opinion: “No two countries run by women would ever go to war,”
I came across an engrossing piece titled “When women can be misogynist trolls, we need a feminist internet”. The author writes that it is not just men who use abusive language with women over the net. There are women too who vent their insecurities on one another and resort to such slander. If we are talking about keeping women in a safe ambience, each of us needs to make sure that we are in no way facilitating the ground for an unhealthy, unsafe environment.
It is very easy to play the blame game. Before pointing fingers at others, women need to look within their own circles and evaluate how much they have held each other’s back.
Wiping out stigmas that stubbornly take root
We as women need to stop judging other women. I once heard a lady remarking that she did not want to be like those stay-at-home moms lazily watching soaps. That was indeed in poor taste.
Then, there was this mom who said that she wanted her daughter to take up a job. She did not wish for her girl to be a housewife who cooks and cleans because maids are there to do those tasks. I personally found her point of view very twisted. We all need to encourage our girls to be independent, but why is it considered so much below their dignity to do the domestic chores?
It is time to get out of this narrow mentality and give stay-at-home women as much respect as those who have stepped out into the workplace. Homemakers have ably contributed to their families by making sure that everything functions smoothly.
On that note, it is essential to mention that those staying at home need to get out of that cocoon and stop pitying themselves. To run a household efficiently is not an easy breeze, and one needs to be proud of shouldering that responsibility. No job is demeaning, so have that respect for yourself.
Have trust in the uber powers of the working woman!
The complaints never end. Just as a homemaker is looked down upon for not earning and not being ambitious, the working woman is chided for being selfish and neglecting her family.
A phrase often heard is: “Why does she have to work when her husband earns enough? The house will suffer!”
Well, we definitely need to stop jumping to such hasty conclusions. One might be super smart in juggling tasks. Also it is up to the individual as to how she takes care of her household. May we abstain from giving our two cents and pronouncing our judgment?
In fact, for those with children, a working mother can be a very good role model. She can teach her kids lessons about equality and financial independence.
Let every day be a woman’s day
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. A wonderful concept indeed! We are striving to build a world that is equitable, inclusive, and free of prejudice. To reach this goal, women need to come out together so that they can garner the strength to make their voices heard.
We grow everyday in our thoughts, ideas, and actions. A few lines from Michelle Obama beautifully encapsulate the process: “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
Yes, we “never stop becoming”! Working in harmony, let us take this women’s march forward far beyond the month of March!
(This article was featured in Women’s Web )