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Woman – Thou art blessed.

By March 6, 2024Articles
kallianpurdotcom: 06/03/2024
– By Hilda D’silva, Kallianpur.

One more International Women’s Day is here – March 8 th 2024. United Nations theme this year is “Invest in Women – Accelerate Progress”. The campaign theme is ‘Inspire Inclusion’. It is time to understand the value of including women in all spheres to accelerate progress. The colour for International Women’s Day 2024 is purple symbolising Justice and Dignity. International Women’s Day is the day to reflect, to analyse and of course to celebrate. A Woman is an asset, she is a super power, she is a creator, motivator, she is a source of strength and of course a beacon of light to all around her. Therefore, in the words of a writer unknown “Whatever you give a woman, she will make it greater. If you give her a sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her”. William Golding acclaiming the role of a woman rightly exclaimed, “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been”. Woman with her multi- faceted personality and strength can build her home, transform society and rule over men with her unfailing loyalty, immeasurable love, kindness and patience.

With the advancement of education, science and technology, there has been a significant increase in the number of women, participating in the workforce. Women have achieved high positions in all fields including politics, business, technology, entertainment, defence, sports, media and communication. In India, International Women’s Day commemorates 8 Indian women who made history as pioneers in their respective domains.

1. Kalpana Chawla – Indian American Astronaut and aerospace engineer
2. Sheila Dawre – First Woman auto driver in 1988
3. Arunima Sinha – First Indian Female amputee to climb Mount Everest and other peaks.
4. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi – First female Doctor in Western Medicine
5. Sarla Thakral – First female Pilot in India
6. Harita Kaur Deol – First Woman pilot in Indian Air Force
7. Shanthi Tigga – First female Jawan in Indian Army
8. Bhawana Kanth – First female fighter pilot in Indian Air Force

These super women have transcended all barriers setting a precedent for future generations. Examples for all women showing that all tasks, all fields, all difficulties, all goals are possible to achieve and to overcome. As stated before, Women’s Day is the day to rejoice, to energise ourselves and march forward with courage and determination.

Positive facts and happy thoughts aside, can we answer some questions and reflect on them? In 2024, with advancement and progress, is a woman really free? As the Mahatma desired, can a woman walk freely at night and travel? Is she free to express her views without any hesitation? What do facts reveal? In 2022, out of 6 million crimes, 4.2 million crimes were against women. Every 5 minutes, atrocity is committed against women, Wife beating, violence against girl child and exploitation. Every 20 minutes, a woman is raped. The number of children who work in prostitution is largest in India – 400 to 500,000. More than 60% of girls in secondary schools drop out by 10 th Standard due to absence of toilets. In Karnataka alone, there are more than 30,000 Devadasis even today. So where are we heading to? Can we rejoice and celebrate? Recent incident in Belgaum of a woman stripped naked, tied to a tree and beaten makes us wonder whether we Women are free? There are thousands of such cases reported and hidden everyday in cities and villages alike. Is justice prompt and fast?…. Remains a dream.

So we women with our rights, through our duties and responsibilities can definitely bring about positive changes. We can be the catalysts of change.

Primary duty – Home – Children – We are in a highly advanced society but a very turbulent one. Nuclear families, children addicted to mobile phones and social media, pressure to perform, too many expectations from parents and million distractions. The resultant consequences – depression, suicides, addiction to drinks and drugs, violence culminating in murders, infatuation and love affairs. A woman is a home maker. Dr Abdul Kalam once commented that the solution to all problems is to be found not in the electric chair but in the high chair of an infant. So If the child finds love, sincerity, discipline at home, that child will definitely turn into a responsible individual. Let women start raising the children with utmost care, concentrating on their well being rather than fearing them. Children always want boundaries and lots and lots of love, understanding.

Woman and Society – We are social human beings living in a dynamic society. Are we ready for the stress, uncertainties, education and skills, employ ability and financial independence? Can a woman survive in a man’s world? As we celebrate Women’s day, what we need are social skills, education, employ ability and financial stability. In our society, when women are exploited, what is our attitude as women? Is it empathy or policy of escapism? Are we ready to fight for justice? In a society where the family structure is crumbling down, let us try to be instruments of small change in our neighbourhood.

Woman in Politics – Empowerment of women is strong when they are in administration, in Government Offices and political affairs. It is discouraging to note that in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, only a 9% were women candidates contesting. In our Parliament, only 15% are women MPs. Though in local bodies, 33% can be women representation, social taboos, wide discouragement from family and friends, lack of confidence are contributory factors for poor participation.

As we celebrate Women’s day, let us resolve to empower ourselves and our girl children. The best and only weapon in the hands of girl children is all round education, skill formation with a strong foundation of values. Let women open themselves to the opportunities and their rights and stand boldly to fight injustice and exploitation. Let our mothers educate their sons to respect people for sons are what women make them. Let me conclude with the words of Mary Shelley, “I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves”.

Let us all experience a very joy filled Women’s day 2024. Thank you.


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