Yes, women are invincible. Strong and powerful, as we continue to acknowledge and celebrate the existence of the more “powerful” species of humanity created, it becomes naturally necessary to celebrate “her” existence in all its fullness. International Women’s Day is thus a day to acknowledge the powerful duly.
A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.
People, tell me who runs the world?
It’s us, girls! Yes, Beyonce declared this in 2011 with her song “Run the World,” and she meant business people.
Be it Kamala Harris, who is leading big time as the world’s first female vice president of the US, or Nirmala Sitharaman, our very own finance minister, or Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, or Melinda Gates, or Cate Blanchett, women have taken centre stage, rocking it big time, and how!
Be it a teacher, a homemaker, an engineer, or an economist, women are acing and pioneering all roles that come their way, making the world a better place to live in with their undisputed strength, unmatched determination, and faith. Yes, faith alone has the power to move and break the patriarchal shackles, rising above obstacles and making the ordinary extraordinary every day, relentlessly. Be it economics, politics, culture, or society, women are everywhere, taking the stage and ruling it as they own it. It thus becomes essential to celebrate their day by acknowledging them, honouring their position, celebrating their achievements, and rallying for their equality.
Each year, thus, the 8th of March is celebrated as International Women’s Day. With a primary goal of aspiring to create a gender-equal world, the day is also about celebrating their successes and raising overall awareness about the bias against them. Thus, we need to challenge societal norms to bring about change.
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International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s. That also marks the period when not only was their major expansion as well as chaos in the industrial world but there was also a population boom as well as the rise of radical ideologies.
It was in 1908 when the critical debate amongst women regarding their oppression and inequality ensued. The campaigning back then became more vocal when 15000 women marched through New York City, demanding shorter work hours, better pay, and equal voting rights. In 1909, thus, the first women’s day was observed across the United States.
When, in 1910, an international conference of working women was held in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin, a leader at the Women’s Office, proposed the idea of celebrating this on a larger scale. Albeit officially, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in 1975.
Did you know that there are actually colours to celebrate this special occasion? Yes, purple, green, and white are the three primary colours to bring in the meaning of the day. While purple signifies justice and dignity, green symbolises hope, and white represents purity.
Despite significant progress in recent times, women continue to face challenges in all walks of life. Be it their personal front or even their workspace, there are limited opportunities, incentive gaps, and a general bias and discrimination present always. Thus, as a responsible society and as a responsible nation, we need to adopt and adhere to certain strategies to support and empower women in their workplace as well as in all other walks of life:
Encourage them into your industry
For years now, there are several areas and multiple sectors which have not seen a lot of active participation of women as it has been argued that the nature of work involved is not permissible for women. However, a change in attitude, incorporating them at all possible places and creating an environment for them to feel safe and included is pivotal.
Flexibility is the key
Due to domestic responsibilities as well as child care, elder care as well as a lack of support at different stages of a woman’s biological cycle, many women have had to put their careers in the back seat. There thus should be policies implemented to provide flexibility in tandem with the spectrum of their needs and perspectives.
Improving gender diversity at all levels
Only saying alone is not enough. Hardcore actions to improve the overall gender diversity, right from the grass root level to the upper crust are essential to benefit not only work-life balance but also promote overall inclusivity as far as women are concerned.
Promoting workplace wellness policies for women
Wellness is an extremely important aspect for anyone, man, woman or other. Providing complete access to counselling and physical as well as mental health care support is another crucial aspect which needs to be taken into account in order to ensure women are empowered in all aspects.
Addressing gender microaggressions
Finally, women face obstacles from gender ageism to being written off voluntarily from participating in aggressive work. Being chastised, being considered “unavailable”, and cancel culture being based on gender bias, women tend to face a lot of microaggressions. Education on a national level, in fact, a global level in terms of this attitude needs to be dispersed, as well as adhered to if we want to break the vicious cycle of orthodox behaviour against women being meted out and promote overall equality at all fronts.
Thus, on this International Women’s Day, let us all together take a pledge to empower, safeguard, and most importantly, give an equal status quo and footing to women.
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Happy International Women’s Day, peeps!