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Celebrating womanhood?

By AARTI DAVID
March 09, 2020 15:44 IST
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'Should we need just one day in a year to talk about their achievements?', asks Aarti David.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
 

A lot of marketing campaigns in recent years have made Women's Day a larger than life celebration. Of course, it is important to celebrate women and rightfully so. But should it be limited to a single day?

Should we need just one day in a year to talk about their achievements?

Why should it be just women we celebrate? Why not celebrate all genders equally? This way perhaps, we would be able to create parity.

Why measure success by a qualification or a position at a workplace, in society?

Why measure at all?

Shouldn't we just celebrate the gift of life and be grateful to and for each other and strive to make this world a better place?

Very idealistic, is it?

The trouble is that in a culture like ours we tend to put women on a pedestal. This puts in a lot of unnecessary pressure. Whether you are a mother, daughter, sister, wife or a single woman, a single mom, a divorced woman, you are always under scrutiny to be on your best behaviour and also to be a paragon of virtue.

You just can never go wrong. There is no scope for error. After all, you are expected to be superhuman, a superwoman. The one stop shop for everything your family can ever need.

What you might need comes lower down in the list of priorities after you have been able to fulfil your obligatory duties. Of course, with changing times, many equations have changed. But there still exists an imbalance.

All those women who are homemakers -- by choice or chance, whichever way -- do we celebrate them? They are generally taken for granted and questioned on a regular basis on what exactly they do through the day.

Their contribution is trivialised and trashed on a daily basis in most households regardless of class. They are expected to follow an unspoken/unwritten code of conduct and yet not be recognised for all that they do.

Those that work are expected to perform these duties doubly so, because their contribution is never considered at par with that of their spouse/partner. While urban India may have progressed to an extent, this is the story in many average households still.

The concept of woman as goddess in a country that is blinded by religion can sometimes work against those that are being celebrated. While we use the term interchangeably, we don't really give a woman her due respect.

She is judged for every action. She is forced to live up to society's false expectations of her. And is regarded as infallible.

And yet the treatment that is meted out to her is far from being revered. She is harassed in her own home, she is abused, tortured, raped, attacked with acid.

Her identity is trampled over and over. Attempts are made to break her spirit.

What we really need is to bring a greater realisation that the celebration has to come from within the four walls of our home. Where we appreciate the little things that get done and forgive the misses with equal ease.

Women -- mothers, daughters, sisters, wives whichever role they play -- are as human as the rest of us. And should be allowed the space to just be.

What is more important is that we are able to reach out and help each other. To be able to support one another in every possible way. Not for glory, not for fame. But to give solace and a safe place to be. For every person that needs that comfort and security.

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