When I first heard about Motherhood Penalty, I was shocked beyond imagination! All my life I have seen moms not only working full time but kicking ass while doing it. My mother, while raising 2 daughters and staying with a joint family would cook meals for the entire family and catch a morning 8AM train for her full-time job, would learn the Japanese language as a passion project and would help us...
It’s 2021, it’s time for equality, why celebrate Women’s Day on such a big scale whereas we can celebrate equal rights and opportunities.
I was asked many questions ahead of Women’s day when we were thinking of Women’s Day campaign ideas. It made me think for a bit as well, are we overdoing it? Is there another way to celebrate Women’s day? That made me look into the history of Women’s day a little.
In simple terms, International Women’s Day is celebrated globally for the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day addresses issues like accelerating gender parity, equal rights to women and equal status in the family, society, workplaces etc.
The significance of Women’s Day can be traced by to early 1900’s where women everywhere were standing up for their rights, demanding equal opportunities and asking for a mind shift when it comes to women in various fields and achieving many new things.
If we have to look at things in today’s context, much has changed. Women with more exposure and openminded, educated families are tasting the sweet fruits of freedom, equality, and great opportunities. Their status in families and societies holds great value. So, yes, there is much that we have achieved in the last 100 years. So, is that it? are we limiting the significance of women’s day only to a limited number of privileged women?
And how much are we succeeding in it? Let’s look at some statistics to get a better understanding?
Pay parity –
In the Global Gender Gap Index 2020, India sits on number 112. In fact, whether it’s health and survival or political empowerment, India is not seen in the top 100 countries.
Violence against women –
2020, the world faced a pandemic, but women? They faced a pandemic and something even more horrendous. Where the leaders declared a nationwide lockdown to be safe from corona, many women weren’t safe in their own homes. The increasing cases of sexual and other kinds of violence have seen a steep increase during the lockdown and the curve was already looking dangerous before 2020.
Education gap –
Even though, we have made a progress over the years, the gap still exists and it’s a cause for concern.
Why do women have to keep thinking about managing to multitask, or their career paths according to everyone else’s wishes but theirs? Will you continue work after marriage? Will you continue work after having children? Why do these questions always arise in front of only women?
The important aspect all of us conveniently forget that there’s a whole class of women who are still fighting for equality, still demanding opportunities, and are still treated as anything but equals.
But are they involved in your communication? Is the message reaching them? Is anyone thinking about equal opportunities for them?
Yes and yes. The aim of spreading positive messages for Women’s day is not only limited to the privileged class who is woke already. It’s the messages we’re hoping will be spread where the problem is bigger.
Take Shenzyn for example. Through Shenzyn we’re opening up exclusive opportunities for women so that they can become independent and carve their own path of success. Our training programs and webinars are ensuring women from various backgrounds and experiences can make use of the knowledge and build their own opinions, upskill themselves. Our initiatives like DiverseRise are enabling organizations to relook at their diversity quotient and make necessary changes.
It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to bring changes in our thought process, behavior, policies so that the need for a special women’s day disappears. Let’s bring a progressive mindset while talking to our kids, building their opinions. Let’s be respectful towards our help staff, let’s not look down upon homemakers and discard their efforts.
And that’s the reason we need Women’s Day. To remind us of equality, to remind us to be vocal and celebrate every woman’s success and achievements. To acknowledge and notice things women do and manage on an everyday basis. To appreciate their efforts, their hard work, their courage, and their resilience.
Don’t want to celebrate Women’s Day in an already established way? Don’t need social media wishes, chocolates, flowers, and other gifts? even better! Maybe these are the ways in which you can celebrate Women’s Day and make someone else feel as empowered as you feel.
- Talk to your maid or house help staff. Discuss and encourage them to pursue education. Support them in educating their daughters.
- Have professional skills that can be useful for women entrepreneurs? Use them. If you see a small-scale business with some potential, use your pro bono hours to uplift them.
- Give compliments and acknowledge the help and support of women professionals who work with you. Let them know their capabilities and encourage them to reach for the stars. Have a conversation to them about their financial securities and help save them money for themselves.
- Use your knowledge and experience in shaping up the opinions of the next generation. Teach them more about equality and mutual respect.
- Include examples of great women leaders, scientists, army professionals, CEOS in your everyday conversations. Make more and more people aware of their achievements.
Yes. not celebrating women’s day is a distant dream, but for now, wishing all strong, amazing women out there, a very happy Women’s Day!