There is a short story that goes like this. An employed married man complained and told his friends that his wife was not doing anything, that she was not employed in any way to make or earn money. Rather that she was spending her whole day at home, just with the three kids, two of which was studying and the last one being nursed. His friends were rather shocked to hear his story. And while they sympathized with him, they asked the married man what his wife was doing exactly at home? So, he replied. “Well, she gets up early in the morning, gets the milk from the milkman, makes breakfast for the two kids, packs their Tiffin. Then she wakes the two older kids, baths them, dresses them and gets them ready for school. Then she serves them breakfast and drops them to the bus stand to wait for the school bus.” All this while, the friends were listening. “Then she comes back, makes my breakfast while I get up, bath and get ready for work. Then she packs my favourite lunch which she had been preparing for some time. Once I leave the house for work, the baby gets up for which she prepares meal again. Having fed the baby, she then gets ready to do the household chores such as washing utensils, doing laundry. About noon, she puts the baby to sleep and is back to her chores. Around 2:00 pm, the kids are back from school. So, she goes to pick them up from the bus stand, brings them home, cleans them up, prepares them something to eat. The she watches their clothes while helping the kids their studies and homework.” By this time, his friends are already wondering what this man is saying. Then he continues. “I come home around 6:00 pm and the dinner is set by 7:00 pm. After dinner, my wife does the chores again as I spend some time with the kids. When my wife’s final work is done including feeding and putting the baby to sleep, it’s about 9:00 pm. And it’s time to rest. Moreover, I really feel tired working in the office. So, I rest early. And do you see that my wife doesn’t really work?” he asked his friends only to their amusement.
The truth be told – whether as a mother, a sister, a wife or an employee of the government or a corporate – one fails to see the hard work put in by women. Ever since one can remember, inequality between the sexes has existed. The term “The Weaker Sex” referred to women is more of discrimination rather than just a tag. And while making up half the population of the world, their talents and skills are nothing less than that of man. Be it in sports, education or any other field for that matter, they have excelled equally. However, they have always been looked down by a large section of the masculine society. They have been scrutinized and judged every step of their lives. Their voices are less heard in the public or the society, their choices and decisions looked down. And if a man is soft-hearted and kind, he is considered ‘Girly’. Men do not cry, they say. Yes, once against stating the crying is for the weaker section, the women.
As the world observes ‘International Women’s Day’ on March 8, it is perhaps right to ponder and questioned why this particular day has been observed for a century now. It is a grim and enraging list of injustice ranging from sex trafficking to sex slavery to domestic slavery to female genital mutilation and many more. And one cannot deny that these are threads in the life stories of millions of women from New Delhi to New York, and they are some of the reasons why, for all the progress made in the 104 years since the first, it is still necessary to have an International Women’s Day. Therefore, it is time for the world to stand together and fight for the equality of women, for them to be treated equal with men, as one. After all, they are our mothers, sisters and wives. They are family.
Equality for Women. Happy International Women’s Day.