Woman's Day – Changing Times

The world would be celebrating the woman's day on March 8th and it is the time when we should pay homage to the women in our life and a woman in general. Even our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru once said: "You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women". So it is the time when we take a closer look at the status of women on India and the spirit of womanhood.

A woman plays a plethora of roles in our lives as a sister, daughter, wife, mother and teacher to name a few. She does so with utmost care and affection without getting credit or notice. The Woman's Day serves as a reminder to all of us about the importance of a woman in our lives and appreciates the contributions of a woman.

The day is celebrated globally on 8th March with some countries declaring the day as a national holiday. Although, the day commemorates the story of everyday woman but the day brings together woman all across the globe and they celebrate it as a clan. There seems to be no linguistic, ethnic, cultural and economic boundary among women and they feel united on the day. The whole woman clan is suffering at the hands of the patriarchal male dominated society across the world and they are protesting since time immemorial. People hardly take a notice of it or if they do notice the valor of a woman they snub or forget it soon.

A woman's outcry of equal footing in the male dominated society is found many times with least result. A peace lover at heart, a woman has always long for a peaceful society irrespective of their cast, creed, religion and nationality. Be it the sexual strike in ancient Greece by Lysistrata (a play of the same name by Aristophanes is a testonomy) to restore peace, the march by Parisian women during the French Revolution for liberty or the famous strike for bread and peace in Russia in 1917 that finally cave the way for the present Woman's Day.

In India, a woman is never believed to be at the same pedestal as a man but the times appear to have changed in recent years. The foray of women in various sectors in the past two decades is a good example to the fact. There are many women making their presence felt in various fields like sports, business or politics. Be it Saina Nehwal in Badminton, Sania Mirza in Tennis, Anju Booby George in Athletics, Indra Nooyi of Pepsi, Lalita Gupte of ICICI Bank, Vidya Chhabria of Jumbo Group or Sonia Gandhi as Congress President. They all have made an indelible mark in their relevant fields.

The woman of toady is not restricted to home as a wife or mother but has entered into the corporate sector as a colleague also. She brings dedication to work with care and affection which adds dynamism to the ambience of workplace.

On the flip side, there seems to be rise in crimes against women at the workplaces with their modest being offended many times. People in general want to see woman in specific roles and they are not in any mood to welcome this healthy change which might be threatening to their machismo. It is also said, though in hidden chambers, "Do not employ women". The low figures of women employees holding senior positions (3 percent) and very low overall figures (5-6 percent) gives a clear picture of reality.

There are not many women who are able to hold their fort against the society and prefer to lead a quieter life and are thus dominated upon. A survey reveals that there has not been a drastic change in the way a young woman of 20 something leads her life in the past 20 years or so. There are not many meaty roles on offer in Indian Film industry in the recent years and the female lead is just a mannequin in front of the camera. This is a visible change in the modern Indian film Industry.

The emancipation of woman is primarily seen as:

1. A person who can smoke in full public view.
2. A person who can party hard.
3. A person who is comfortable in having drinks in public places.
4. A person who can use slang language as their male counterparts do.
5. An open minded person about their relationship.
6. A person who makes a first move in a relationship.
7. A person who shows Public Display of Affection more.

To be honest, these are definitely the signs of change but not the right ones. We would like to see a girl getting an equal opportunity as her brother, getting appropriate education to get a firm footing, representation in all the sectors equally, appreciating their talent as equals, stringent laws to protect the crime against women and their application as soon as possible.

Maybe the time has come for woman to lead from the front and show us the strength that she possesses. This might be the time for change, for a new woman leader to be a torch bearer.