International Women’s Day : The Day Generalised to Women or Does it mean something?

International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries to commemorate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. It is also a day to remember the struggles women face and honour the accomplishments they have mad

8th March 2016 - International Women’s Day

A day to celebrate women; a day that this year is devoted to “parity for all’; a day when the feminine is supposed to be celebrated. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what exactly are we doing to celebrate on International Women’s day? Oh yes, the malls are talking about Women’s Day sales so that we can shop at leisure – when don’t they do that? Restaurants and pubs are offering discounts to “all girls gangs” – oh wow! Come of it people! All this is so hypocritical.

International Women’s day is supposed to be a celebration of all women the world over. Not just a privileged few who ‘know’ there’s a day devoted to them. The concept of International Women’s day came to being when 15,000 brave women marched through New York City demanding better pay, shorter working hours, and the right to vote. Well, some of that does seem a reality today as most countries (not all) have given women the right to vote. Working hours for women today are usually at par with their male counterparts, although pay-wise we still aren’t quite there yet. Most women, across industries, feel there’s a huge gap between what they get paid and what their male counterparts do.

But that’s for the educated women. What about the lady who comes to clean your house? Will you be celebrating International Women’s day with her, too? Would you be giving her an ‘off’ too? You’ll probably be asking her to come early so that you can be out of your house in time to deliver your ‘International Women’s day’ speech at the club. For most women below the poverty line, International Women’s day means nothing, if at all they know such a day exists. They keep working from morning to night in an effort to make ends meet, often getting beaten up by their husbands just because they refuse to hand over all their earnings to them. Unless these women can be made aware of their rights, and given a better life, International Women’s day is just a myth.

For that matter, even among the educated class, very few women will actually be ‘celebrated’. Stay at home moms will still be attending to the whims and fancies of husband and children, while the ‘working’ woman will come home to her second shift of work with household chores.” Parity for all” should mean not just equal pay for equal work, but also the division of labor at home, no physical or mental abuse, no female foeticide, and social and political recognition of the contribution women make on an ongoing basis. Till every woman recognizes her true potential and embraces her self-worth, we can’t really celebrate International Women’s day.

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