I never knew Women’s Day was celebrated as a day for men to express their love, appreciation, and/or respect for the women in their lives.
As March 8 neared, I started receiving messages like “Happy Women’s Day!” and my facebook started showing news and events related to women’s achievements and struggles.
Women’s Day was a day, an event, that I did not like to talk about, celebrate, focus on. My first instinct has always been to ignore it. Yes, ignore women’s day, a day which to me indicated that somewhere somehow, I was not on par with men.
I was brought up with the opportunity to education, educated parents (teachers) who valued the importance of education and saw us climbing the stairs of success as their success. Anyone hinting that women were any different than men was something that both me and my younger sister would have been the reason for us to start discussions, arguments. The young blood, the protected blood. We were perhaps very fortunate, protected and therefore more naive as to how the society perceived women.
Things probably changed a bit after puberty but we still trudged along with unwavering hope of challenging anyone and everyone towards our point of view. I am very grateful for my parents for shielding us from the societal prejudices for as long as they did. Because, without those years, we would have probably not known that things could be better and brighter.
With those carefree years, we still have the can do attitude. I have heard from enough sources to actually believe that how you are brought up in the early years have a profound impact on your life ahead. Our tenacity probably stems from those years where we knew we could achieve anything we set our mind to. But we also knew that life was not easy and we had to work hard and never give up.
I have digressed enough. So let me come back to my perspective on Women’s Day. Women’s Day as a holiday only for women was suddenly made known to me. There was no history attached to it, there was no information provided on the significance of this holiday. So, the rebellious me thought why do women need an extra holiday to be at home and relax. Men would smirk and say it’s Women’s Day and I would think, I would rather go to work and be like all men. That was my way to indicate that I was on par with them.
I didn’t know why women had that extra holiday and what was there to celebrate about.
Now to explain it better, I try to compare it with Independence Day or Democracy Day. When people celebrate it, there is so much pride associated with it.
Then, I would wonder, why Women’s Day to me doesn’t fill me with that same level of pride? In fact, why did I feel uneasy or low even, when I thought about Women’s Day?
So, I had to educate myself. And, I probably have an answer…..
Unlike Independence Day or Democracy Day where nations celebrated the victory, the freedom that they were now able to enjoy,…….. Women’s Day is a celebration of women’s economic, political, and social achievements but it is also a day for raising political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide.
Women’s Day doesn’t signify a resounding victory, it is a celebration of the rise of women’s voices that were not heard before, celebration of the achievements, …
But more importantly, it is about “looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women (UN).
And now that I have lived some, learned some, read some, and experienced some, I believe I am more open to celebrating Women’s Day. For, it is only through recognizing and building on the current successes can we move ahead efficiently and effectively to realizing all that we can achieve.
Happy Women’s Day everyone!