It is. Women’s Day has finally morphed from being a day where women announced their equality with man after aeons of being considered the second and therefore inferior sex to a Hallmark card day.
I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
Especially when I have some well meaning folks come up, grab me by the palm, shake said hand vigorously and wish me “Happy Women’s Day”.
Excuse me while I find a corner to barf uninhibitedly into.
I’m not even going to start on about how women in India have little to be happy about given the rate of sexual violence against women in India is amongst the highest in the world.
I’m not even going to mention how, in Haryana, bride price has skewed the gender equation completely after years of female infanticide and foeticide.
I’m just glossing over the fact that folks are flying abroad to have sex determination tests and MTPs to avoid having girls.
I’m putting the fact that except for the banking sector, I see very few professional women at the seniormost levels at major corporations at the back of my mind.
I’m taking for granted that every rural girl child has to struggle twice as hard to prove to her family that she along with her brother, deserves an education.
I’m thinking about her mother who spends her entire day collecting water for her family, working the fields, cooking meals over wooden stoves that line her lungs with soot, and who looks twice her age and puts herself last on the needs list of the family.
I’m thinking about all the women who get bashed up by the men in their lives and hold themselves together and stay back in the relationship because theyre too terrified to step out into the world without the suraksha kavach of the man in their lives.
And then I think about the woman pilot who lives in my building, and who is dapper and confident in her uniform much to the wide eyed open mouthed amazement of my seven year old.
I think about women like Chanda Kochchar, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Indra Nooyi, who have proved to women striving in the professional world that yes, there is a glass ceiling, but it can be broken.
I think about the women who have adopted baby girls, despite being able to have their own biological children and salute them and the men in their lives who have had the courage to support them.
And I think about the women who have climbed every mountain, whether it is my maid bringing up her family on the money she earns scrubbing and sweeping or the woman who juggles family and home while she gives cracking presentations in conference rooms.
This isn’t Happy Womens Day. This is More Power to Women Day. And this should be our everyday.
I see the discounts on jewellery, the luncheons to treat the ‘woman in your life’, the special women’s day offers and wonder whether I got it wrong. Maybe I did. Not that I can ever complain about discounts and free lunches.
Anyway, I’m going to celebrate the day this evening. How? With my gang of girls of course.