The first few lines have already evoked a sense of query in you as a reader. You wish to know what I feel about the subject. Am I too dismissing the idea as another day or do I believe in it.
You want statistics?
Women are 48.5% of the general population of India
Women earn 62% of men’s salary for equal work
Women are just 3% of legislative, management, and senior official positions
54% of companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange 100 have no women board directors
Women in management in India face many challenges. Studies have found:
- women have to work harder to prove themselves;
- men do not respect women bosses (and prefer to have them as subordinates as opposed to superiors);
- women are excluded from informal networks
India ranked towards the bottom of the 134 countries, with a ranking of 113, on the 2011 Global Gender Gap Index
Now do you think we need a women’s day? Hell yeah!
We are far behind in gender equality. And when you can identify AIDS as an issue and understand that it needs a dedicated day to highlight issues, this is perhaps a more generic and rampant concern to propagate.
And surprisingly India is among the highest percentage of having double income groups. Women who work and manage households have the maximum population in India.
Why celebrate a women’s day then? Because behind these statistics is a women, a story. A story which can inspire many. A story which can tell you how much they need you. How much they need a voice to hear them, talk to them. How much they need to feel that they are a part of this world.
26.2% of women cited a lack of role models as a barrier to advancement (among the highest again!)
This women’s day I found a wonderful way to celebrate. I stumbled upon Mom n Me Store’s beautiful
concept of expressing yourself in only a hundred words.
Yes hundred words to describe the feeling of being YOU. Feeling of being a woman of inspiration. And I decided to share it with you all.
Story of creating life…
Story of love of a daughter, affection of a sister,vision of a business leader, courage of a fighter…
And never giving up…
We all have a story that is unsaid and untold…
This women’s day.. open up and share your story that could inspire a million…
I sent across my entry for the contest, I just couldn’t hold myself back. Words flowed. If you believe you have your story, your idea of a woman in only 100 words then perhaps you too can enter here
This woman’s day let us all try to be a role model for those 26.2% women who are unable to move ahead in life due to lack of inspiration.
Data Source: Catalyst
Connecting it with Write Tribe’s festival of words. The prompt for Day seven is International Women’s Day.
“I’m celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day by blogging for the #WomenInspire Campaign sponsored by USC’s masters degree in social work program. Join the blog carnival to honor a woman who has inspired you!”
USC’s Women Inspire Campaign
* * *
Very valid points raised in the post, indeed. The statistics say for themselves why we need this day, brilliant!
Thanks a lot kajal 🙂 and yes statistics do speak for themselves…
All the best for the contest Richa!
Oh! No no it is not the contest post 😀
NIce post… meaningful 100 words and thanks for sharing abt the contest…
Thanks Ananya 🙂
All the best for the contest. A woman gets up earlier than other members of the house and sleeps the last. She toils hard. Is she the weaker sex?
true Kalpana she works all the time. And it is not a contest post 😀
Checked it. I mistook it as a contest.
Good luck in the contest. It boggles my mind that your country still struggles for equality for women in this day in age. All the more reason to celebrate women!
Kathy though the stats are country specific but the issue is rampant all over the world…
Every day should be citizen’s day, males and females. Best of luck for the contest.
Yes at some level I do agree. And it is not for a contest 🙂
actually we have men’s day too so, to have a day is fine but to respect and value them is what we all need.
valid pointers, richa!
True Ruchira that is the crux of the day 🙂
Loved your points on why we need women’s day. In the current economy, most women have don the role of homemaker as well as source of income. It’s imp for other family members to support and appreciate her role.
Good luck for the contest
True Rajlakshmi. And again this is not an entry for the contest 😀
Excellent.More needs to be done.There should be political empowerment.
Political empowerment is a raging debate everywhere..
Just speechless at this wonderful post ! You’ve been brilliant, as always !
Thanks Sreeja 🙂
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Well written gal!! I also support the idea of having the Women’s day…it keeps the fire burning that we are not yet treated as equals and need to keep fighting 🙂
Exactly my feelings about the day Natasha 🙂
Well, I guess a day is needed because certain statistics, law regulations and the like make an appearance on this Day. And, a day also forces everyone to sit, pause and reflect on the various dimensions of women. And, yes, we have a Men’s day as well.
Thats the point Susan, we do have a mens day, why do they crib so much!
Yes, despite the disturbing statistics, we do need a women’s day! A day like this is not to celebrate women for a day but to take this this day as a time to reflect and refocus and bring about the much needed changes!
True shilpa. But the spirit that exists among us can be a part of celebration 🙂
I wrote a post last year on why we need IWD. For the reasons you’ve stated and so many more, we need a day as we are still struggling for equality…
Struggling for equality demands an IWD. when this cause of inequality disappears, with it will go the day..
Yes, the stats say it all…though better these days, women still need a voice.
True Michelle.. they still need a voice..
This is what I think. We do not need a women’s day because if someone wants to be treated equally then they should not require special treatment. I’ll even go further and say that I find seperate counters for women or places where I can be standing in a line for an hour but still a woman who just came gets preference annoying.
But, I’m talking about myself, and primarily about the metropolitan cities where women do have certain privileges that women in other parts of the countries don’t. Keeping this in mind, maybe these reservations and preferences are neccessary and maybe they are required to slowly remove the oppression that has been part of their lives for years. It is also understandable that one cannot dictate these preferences in parts thus country wide rules and attitudes need changing.
Coming back to Women’s Day, once again one day is not enough. Yes, it brings certain issues into focus, but how long does it last? Trying to focus everything onto one day takes away from the main issue and that is continued upliftment throughout the year. By all means celebrate womanhood, but then when important social issues get mixed up with special shopping offers and the likes, we all end up with a mixed message. Is this day really about celebrating women in our lives or has it just become another day that can be used commercially?
I’d also like to say that unfortunately statistics don’t mean much to the truly oppressed women. What they really need is continued year long support and not just highlighting their plights on one day.
I agree with this point. And about the point of view stated in your earlier comment. I agree with you and then I don’t also. We have a cancer day AIDS day and a lot of others. Then perhaps we should start saying that the idea of having day with causes is wrong. For me this women’s day office men created a wonderful celebration. It made me feel happy. It made me feel that the news are not meant to to be taken very seriously… *rest my case*
Women’s plight is shocking in your country. Here in England, at least woman have equal rights although they don’t earn the same pay for a job. Every morning, I pray for balance between men and women. I believe it is one of the biggest issues in the world today. Stay strong women in India. You’ll get there in the end.
Visiting from UBC. http://bit.ly/JBC6am
Well the division may be large in our country but the world on the whole is still not free of the inequality 🙂
Yes we need a day. But I hope we go beyond just celebrating one day and with time, really have the quality of life improved for all women.
That I hope for too Aarthy 🙂
The spirit of celebrating womanhood should go on for the whole of the year…just a day means celebration with the gifts and dinners only… We don’t deserve Women’s day celebrations until every single woman on the face of this earth is respected… Happy Women’s Day!
Happy women’s day to you too! And on the contrary I believe that we need to celebrate this day until we have equality. Then we can do away with it..
A very interesting and well written post, Richa. Thank you, I so enjoyed it and learned a lot about India too! And so agree – Yeah- we need the Women’s Day. So many unjust points here! I also loved your poem – yay for you – hope it goes your way in the competition! Happy Women’s Day!
Happy women’s day Eli! And no it is not for a contest 😀
Very nicely put Richa.
Thanks a lot Gauri 🙂
Richa, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your writing this post. I am sick of hearing “Why not have a men’s day?” and you do such a great job explaining why International Women’s Day is so important! I’d love to add this to the #WomenInspire blog carnival. If you’re interested please grab the badge & submit it in the comments section of this post: http://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/women-inspire-roundup-iwd2014-whm2014/
Corinne & Vidya from Write Tribe have already been added to the Roundup and it would be great to have you too. 🙂
Thanks and happy International Women’s Day!
[email protected] Community Manager
Thanks a lot Gaby 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the post. And yes I do know about the carnival. I was an active part of suicide prevention too 🙂 I will surely enter the post 🙂
All the best Richa. IWD is a great idea to honour women – known and unknown.
Amen to that Suzy 🙂
I am still not convinced of women’s day. It is kind of like shoving me down my throat that I am not equal even though I totally believe I am. The programs at work to celebrate this day sucks, because people’s mentality does not change and all these becomes a reason of sexist jokes. As a woman I do not need to feel special, but just a human being first. You know all the special training sessions at work – why it should be gender biased ? seniors are supposed to guide all the juniors irrespective of men and women, if it is not being done then it is the seniors who should be trained and counsel.
hmmm I quite agree with a lot of things you have just stated. But then I also believe that there is some silver lining to this dark cloud, may be not all the time but with cases where women get to share their inspiring stories and yes people listen..
I guess what I feel about this day is clearly mentioned in my post. But the stats you mentioned are indeed alarming. We need to use this day as a reminder and to use it as a day to look back and see what improvements have come about since the last year and start working towards better results next year.
Yes we need that Jyothi, a regular reminder all the time 🙂
Amratya sen analyzed that Indian women are now lagging behind Bangladeshi women as well. Some serious work has to be done for the upliftment of women in the rural areas. Nice post 🙂
Yes Gaurab some very serious work needs to be done now!
Exactly what I was feeling, we have a day dedicated to us but the stats and the reality is something else totally.
Yes nd it is for those stats that we need to get proactive….
it’s weird how we [the society] celebrate a day for women and then harass them on any regular day… It’s sad.. Great post
I wrote a piece on One Stop Crisis Centre.. would like to see your feedback..
Would most definitely visit. I still have to finish day six and seven posts 🙂
I hate the concept of celebrating these “days”, like women’s day, friendship day, valentine’s day!
But you gave me a different perspective of the day , so happy women’s day to you Richa!
We all do at some level, but then this day represents more of an inequality that still exists than the celebration as such….
A valid point raised. I don’t think there’s any need to celebrate women’s day. These celebrations in the end settles down as humbug when we see injustice in our daily lives. Someone someday had asked me “then why do we celebrate birthdays?” when I had expressed such kind of opinion of mine. I kept quite. But I wanna ask people how would they feel if they are celebrated once in a year and ignored for the rest of their lives? Btw, I so much liked your thoughts and this is something worth reading on the so called Women’s day. 🙂
You know Namrata I do share the thought you have expressed. But then I also believe, lets start it somewhere. AT least we are forcing people to talk on this day, watch the stats on the news and other places. They cannot even try and ignore it. Right? It is for those who for the rest of the year couldn’t care less.
You raised important points and data. My point is that: Let’s pledge to respect and treat woman as equal to men. Ive seen the male ego in my former office when they have huge issues with a female boss.
A lady boss is always some topic of concern among men 😀
even in Banks and Railway Station, if there is a lady handling the counter, there will be men whining about how slow the queue is moving only because a woman is on the other side.. I mean what the hell is wrong with people
Very valid points Richa. I could sense the feeling of frustration on the topic.
If we can celebrate love, parenthood then why not womanhood. Regarding the board room statistics, even SEBI has mandated that there should be atleast one woman director in every listed company. I was shocked to learn that even Reliance, Tata’s don’t have a woman director on their board. They say the lack of quality. But research has found out that companies with woman CEO’s are more profitable than their male counterparts. I have written a post on this subject as well.
Thanks for the post and all the best for the contest as well.
True research has established that companies with woman heads or parliaments with more women have known to be more efficient.
Hi Richa, Though all the points mentioned are very valid and need to be looked into and worked upon for betterment , my personal thought is that having a separate women’s day is just another straw towards the inequality. I tend to think women and men with aspects of equality- first as human beings and then the natural differences and hence to me, a special day is not I would go for :-(. Please don’t take my comment in any different way. Good Luck for the contest though !!!
Well I know a lot of people see it like that. But then my personal view is that we need people to see that there is inequality and turn this day into a more action based or awareness centered celebration. And my space is always open to views conterviews, that is beauty of writing posts right? 😀 And it is not a contest post 😀
All the points are valid, however they have own history behind, which is changing now. May be gradually, may be slowly / fast.. but change is happening on the positive side. Men and Women will become equal; may be women may dominate men in the future. Nothing wrong even if that happens, men can understand what it feels to be over-powered and controlled. 🙂
Ha! Me likes the idea on a personal front 😀 but when we speak of equality well I do believe it should be in all aspects then, no one should dominate no one..
From your perspective the points you make are reasonable, especially when examined along with the data you so aptly quote.
I cannot speak for others but I really need the continued public commemoration of the International Women’s Day. This day;
1. reminds me of the stark reality of an ordinary woman’s expectations and opportunities in life as being considerably gloomier than my own.
2. compels me to remember that gender inequity is not a women’s issue. I am standing up to the unfair treatment of a fellow human being.
3. encourages me to overcome the guilt of having enjoyed the privilege of growing up as a boy even if it is unintentional.
4. motivates me to overcome the feelings of helplessness and uneasiness that crop up in me when others of my own gender commit crimes against women and to do something instead of standing idly by.
5. drives home the point that I can say wonderful things in public about equality but my real test is about how I can overcome my ingrained position of privilege and be fair to the women in my own life.
6. humbles me to work towards being a better son to my mother, better husband to my wife and a better father to my daughter. My urgent responsibility is to do all that I can to not drive them to conclude that ‘All men are pigs’. if this happens, I would have utterly failed in life.
7. reflect on one of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt in my life that a woman’s silence is not a sign of weakness or apathy but an ultimate expression of her sacrifice.
Hopefully one day, we will all celebrate being human.
I remain in continued admiration and respect,
Ranga all your seven points have deeply touched and humbled me. And somewhere I am deeply ingrained that you took out time to write them here for my post. Why I could completely get the guilt part too, I often undergo it with respect to being slightly better off than those on the street. And hence the privilege at times does eat a conscious soul..
That was a lovely perspective you know! and those facts send a chill down your spine.. and despite turning into eternal pessimist, we women dont give up.. kudos to women 🙂
Kudos to women everywhere! 🙂
I believe the inequality exists because of us…if we…each one of us do not adhere to shackles imposed on us by our upbringing, cultural norms & societal pressure, & just try to be good and do good to others, there would be no inequality to boot…, that will not happen suddenly, but gradually….great post…keep writing cheerz 🙂 (PS…I am not giving you best wishes for the competition as many ppl have already given u that :D)
Thanks a lot and yes it is more about breaking free from set concepts of life..
Well said Richa…
I also dont really like the idea of a Woman’s Day…
Perhaps the idea could be tweaked removing the consumerism but the essence can remain. I think then you would like it 🙂
Not only women’s day but any day is not for need. Those days are to brighten the concept of that day in the society. I gone through the wrong police complement against me that i insulted a women. In the bus travel i found that many of the women’s behave very arrogantly with man on the issues about legal seat reservation in the city bus. How we ignored all this. Still i personally have too much respect about women. If u can read and understand Marathi pl go through my blog http://maymrathi.blogspot.com/ and post
Well excess of anything is bad, I believe. And yes celebration when taken to the other end does dab the spirit of this day… and no I cannot read marathi 🙁
A day will come when we will need a Men’s Day.. that is my secret desire Richa 😉
haha well there is one on 19th Nov not that they need it as per statistics..
Hell yeah!! Hell yeah!! Maybe we need a day to remind everyone that women do matter so yes we do need women’s day !!
They matter and they are not getting their due…
Very thoughtful article! Thanks for sharing the facts…
very valid points! wonderful post… thanks for sharing Richa!