International Women Day is celebrated not only to mark the achievements of women across different fields but also as a continual reminder to strive for change and equality.
International Women’s Day first emerged from the labor movements when women garment workers went on strike in New York in 1908. Over the years millions of men and women attended rallies to press for women’s rights to vote, hold public office and end discrimination in the workplace. This day helps to highlight the rights and accessibility that are still denied to women.
Men have always tried to control women, they have decided what she will wear, how she will talk, what she will do and who she will marry. Women don’t even have the right over their own bodies! For centuries there has been social and moral policing of women’s behavior and this has led to women being unrepresented, ignored and discriminated against.
The heads of most of the world political parties, religious organizations and business are all men. Women have very rarely been included in such spaces and hence we are not being heard or understood by someone who has the same experience as us. We must express what we need and make a better future for the next generation.
The True Meaning of Equality
Many people today are still confused about what it means when we say that there needs to be equality for women. Equality does not mean that we should ignore the differences that make us men and women. It is more a fight for the equality of rights for everyone than it is about the equality of genders. It is about being given the same opportunities, rights and environments to thrive and flourish based on one’s own special set of skills and talents.
Have you ever thought about the timings of the workday? For many men, it is not even a second thought because they come home to a cooked meal and fed children. For a woman to be expected to work the same hours that were designed for men and still come home and take care of the meals and the home is a tall order. Yet, many women do it without batting an eye! This is a perfect example of misunderstanding the meaning of equality. Women are given equal work timings but none of the other social systems change and hence they are still left with an unequal burden.
Women are paid less than men in many fields of work. They may even have more qualifications but there salary is less than their male co-workers. This is a known fact and still, most of the government across the world has not done enough about it. It is time that we women stand together as a network for equal salary and get what we deserve as our male co-workers.
We as women need to change this trend of inequality at home. Why should a woman who has worked as hard as the man be in the kitchen and serving anyone? When a woman gets married or are in a relationship it is important to discuss this matter very clearly. Who is doing what at home and when? This helps the relationship and also gives the next generation a sign that this how a relationship is managed. You should also give chores to your children as they need to learn this too. The men should take parental leave as women do. This should be paid by the employers and governments. This is turn will give us a whole new generation of cared and nurtured human beings.
Women need to learn to take their space anywhere and everywhere as men do. Be it in the bus, metro, street and so on. A woman should not feel scared while walking on the street in the day or night. We as a society need to create a group that help people to feel safe. While they are walking home. No one should feel this way. We are Human beings and we should treat each other with respect.
Yes, the times are very different from what they were a century ago but equality can only be completely and truly accomplished when we are all willing to admit that true systemic and social changes have to take place in order to provide true equality for women.
As you celebrate this women’s day please be grateful to those who have struggled for us, encouraging of your fellow women and proud of all that you have done and accomplished.
So today I propose two ideas for women across the world. You can start a group called *My space for me* and the second group *Equal me*
My space for me is for taking your space anywhere where you feel you need from home to job and *Equal me* is for getting equal salary and getting free time from children and home.
Team Kaldan wishes you a happy women’s day!
Check out Kaldan blog for more on finding your inner strength and living a fulfilling life or join her workshop on *Dare* for girls and women.