On March 8th, as the world observed the ‘International Women’s Day’, I had a rather interesting and thought provoking experience. I was boarding my college bus with my friends, to go to the block where my classes were. The seats were then almost filled. Just as I was wondering where to sit, an older boy on the seat right behind my friend’s immediately stood up to leave his seat vacant so that I could sit. However, I chose to adjust myself next to my friend as the ride was a matter of only a few minutes…
” Daa..Today is International Women’s Day.. We must respect women on this day.”, I overheard the older boy explaining immediately to his friend. When I heard this, I had a mix of emotions and thoughts that entertained me the next 10 minutes. Initially, I was happy that the boy recognized the idea that women are to be respected, especially on International Women’s Day..Honestly, I was grateful and glad that he stood up to offer his seat, though I was more comfortable sitting next to my friend. However, when I began analyzing the nuances of the situation, I realized a rather upsetting fact.. the fact that women seem to ‘need’ a day like the International Women’s Day to be respected and loved. Would he have stood up if it was an ordinary day? Will people value a woman during the other 364 days of a year?
The crucial point is that the very fact that we observe such a day as ‘women’s day’ when we don’t have similar day for men, is a proof of gender inequality, and of a patriarchal society. We observe this day as we have to raise awareness about woman empowerment and rights, just as we observe Children’s day to raise awareness against child labor and trafficking. Sure, this is a day to celebrate womanhood. But, we need a world where we celebrate womanhood everyday, where we do not need a special day to remind all to love, admire, and value women.
Now, do not misunderstand me. I’m (not) a feminist. After all, what I’m asking for is a world where we observe ‘Men’s Day’ too, just as we observe ‘Mother’s Day’ and ‘Father’s Day’..
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