International Women’s Day is observed on March 8, every year. Everybody spoke about women, their achievements, and the issues they were facing but what about today, tomorrow, and every day?
The trend was started in 1911 by Clara Zetkin, a German Marxist. It started as a campaign against oppression and inequality. Those women fought for their right to vote and for equal wages. In 1975, the United Nations observed March 8 as International Women’s Day, to mark the challenges they overcame. The movement which started a century ago has not been able to change a single thing about the patriarchal diktats of society.
Corporations make performative gestures on women’s day to ensure their profit.
The movement which started as a campaign has now turned into a social, political, and commercial agenda. Pseudo-feminist corporates, on Women’s Day, show off their anti-patriarchal garb, whereas they are the ones molesting vulnerable girls. Commercialization of the day has put inside people’s heads that if they’ll be nice to women on a particular day, women will be satisfied.
People often post pictures and videos of working in the kitchen with the hashtag #WomensDay, but it means nothing if you’re doing it just to show off on the internet. It does not mean you respect women. If you want to do the chores and help the women in your house then do it on an everyday basis. Don’t just put a label of strong mother/wife and confine them to domestic chores. “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, giving long speeches won’t change a single thing, and you have to be the change to bring a change.
All we want is the fair treatment and to not be discriminated against based on our gender. Is that too much to ask for? In contemporary times we have started celebrating the day rather than marking it. Celebration of women has just become an illusion, where one day we talk about women’s issues and how much the society needs to be reformed, and concomitantly we have all the set preconceived patriarchal notions which we do not want to change.
And it is not only men, there are women as well with a patriarchal mindset, who want their daughters or granddaughters to get married at a very early age and not letting them study. The issues which were raised 100 years ago are still the same, oppression and inequality. So what are we even celebrating? According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India recorded 88 rape cases every day in 2019.
We are having around 100 rape cases every day and the recent judgments of the court are the cherry on the cake, where SC asked, “can sex between husband and wife be called rape“, and “a government worker convict to marry the victim“. The Bombay HC in January said, ‘no skin touch, no sexual assault’. Where the Chief Justice of India was alleged of sexual harassment and then he chaired the special hearing. This is the country we are living in, then how can we even imagine celebrating women.
Many things have changed in society but in ratio to the adversities, it is like 1:100. We are living in a country, where a girl is quelled to not disclose harassment, and poets like Jayanta Mahapatra and Kamla Das, who express their desires via poems, are looked down upon. But when men like Kalidasa objectify Shakuntala, they are highly praised and are also accredited with the best work titles.
For how long will this discrimination continue? We have already spanned a hundred years! Still, a lot more things need to be changed and we should start acting upon it rather than just being all mouth on Women’s Day. Let’s begin it from our homes by helping our mothers/wives daily and respecting all the other females. Hopefully, one day we will bring a change because we are ‘phenomenally phenomenal women!”
“Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear