We celebrate women and their accomplishments on 8th March every year, but have you ever wondered why we as a society felt the need to create a day like this? And how the world has changed for women in the past 100 years?
Although Women's Day has political roots, over the years it has strayed from that and in some countries has fallen into the commercialization pit. But the spirit remains the same and we still thrive for gender equality in all fields, whether it be in education or work. If you wonder why we need to advocate equality now, when we already have a handful of women in places of power, then we need to look back and see why we needed it in the first place. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. It took a lot of resistance to reach where we are, and we need more perseverance to achieve what we wish to accomplish.
Women have always faced discrimination and it wouldn't be wrong to say, that sometimes even now, they face inequality. But ages ago it was a different story as women didn't have any basic rights. In some countries, women weren't allowed to hold property under their name. They were also unable to inherit any land from their parents and were dependent on their male counterparts for something as essential as shelter. Things have taken a turn for better now, and women can buy or inherit a property in their name.
Earlier, the pay gap between men and women used to be huge and obvious. After a long battle for equal pay, things have changed but not quite yet. Women being paid less than their counterparts on the same job is a big issue even now. Another important aspect where women were left out was, the right to vote. In India, both women and men were granted the right to vote right when we got independence. Some other countries were not that lucky and had to fight a long and gruesome battle for basic human rights.
These are just a few of many difficult things that women had to go through to be heard, seen, and taken seriously. But even now, they face heavy discrimination in one way or another. Maybe it's because that is how we are programmed, we do what we see. But like everything, this needs to change with time. Maybe we can't change how everybody thinks, but change starts at home with you. If each one of us pledges to abolish all the practices involving inequality and see everybody with the same respect disregarding their gender, then it sure will be a step towards a better future.
This year's campaign for International Women's Day is - Each for Equal. It is forcing us to accept that we are accountable for our thoughts and actions. We can choose to challenge stereotypes, and collectively, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world.
So let's stand tall and choose to be #EachforEqual.