Every woman puts her own interpretation on International Women’s Day. For some it is a reason to dress extra special to work, for some a day to party with their female friends, for others it is an occasion to celebrate being a woman, but there are those few who always raise the cliched argument of “Why just one day to celebrate women? We should do it everyday.” My reaction to them is, “Really? Seriously?”
India is amongst the oldest civilizations in the world – yet, what do we have in the way of women’s history, women’s literature, women’s voices, from before the 20th century? A blank. A speaking, seething silence. And now when we have a chance to be, to say we are, a day to take stock of where we have reached and where we need to go – is “why” really what we want to say?
International Women’s Day is a day that honors generations of women’s struggle, that has brought us where we are today. It is a day when international organizations deliberate over how to emancipate and empower women who do not enjoy the freedom we do. It is a day when countries, societies, people take a moment to assess how empowered their women really are, and how much still needs to be done.
For me it is a day to feel a part of the global sorority of womanhood. To applaud the achievements of my fellow women and sensitize myself on the realities of those who still struggle on the margins of society. My participation in this world wide celebration is my show of solidarity with my sisters who have no reason to celebrate yet. It is an acknowledgement of their pain, their endurance, and a message to them that there is hope, and that people care.
Of course it also means doing as little as possible, by way of work, and generally pampering myself. But hey, no judging, it’s International Women’s Day!