Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Women's Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I wished my friends and acquaintances. Some replied back, some didn’t. Some men and women alike don’t even pay any heed to this day. They say it’s a farce. Well, to each his own.

However, I would also like to put the record straight that Women’s Day isn’t a gimmick that’s started by some greeting card company to sell their cards. It’s real. It is acknowledgement and celebration of the Women who fought for their rights. Women were denied the basic right to vote. Some women had the courage to stand upto the self-righteous governors of this Patriarchal world. They won. Women could vote. We celebrate this day for their victory. For every battle that women have to fight daily to prove to be equals.

I have been blessed to be born in a family where the man and woman divide was not so pronounced. It was there nonetheless. Though I would not call it oppression. But I was always reminded that I was a ‘Girl’ and my brother was a ‘Boy’, and that’s why he could do some things and I couldn’t. Through the years the divide was narrowed. Today I and my brother are looked upon as individuals.

Having said that, this gender inequality is prevalent in our society and country. It is not limited to India alone but also exists in other patriarchal societies.  Having lived in Africa for a while, I have heard horror stories of the way women are treated.  Women have been oppressed for centuries, world across. Not being treated as equals is one point, atrocities against this gender takes it to another level altogether. But why?

Women are a pillar of strength, but that doesn’t imply that we be barraged with abomination. The Hindu text gives Women a place as the extreme power (Shakti) and yet men suppress women. They want them to mould in punctilious roles with no individual identities.

I advocate Women’s rights. It’s not the right to wear what I want or drink what I want or go where I want to. It’s the right to ‘Be’. To be me, as I am.

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