8 Mar 2021, 11:30 — 4 min read
I was one proud mama when my 5-year-old daughter drew herself as an astronaut sitting inside a space shuttle ready to take off. She proudly told me that 'girls can do anything!’. What a simple, yet powerful statement. Imagine every little girl in this world who believed this mantra and followed their dreams – what a wonderful world that would be!
With its origins dating back to 1910 when it was first introduced, International Women’s Day or IWD celebrates womanhood all over the world, its principal aim to address women’s rights. A day to recognise the achievements of women in different fields. To celebrate the success and call to action for gender parity - be it in equal pay, education, or self-empowerment.
Studies show that women earn only about ¾ of their male counterparts for the same job and same responsibilities. Several decision-making policies are also adjudged based on gender roles.
Gender inequality still persists in the modern world. Women are still being typecast into roles they were 'meant to do’. Cultural and social norms play largely in gender equality in many places where men are seen as authoritative breadwinners and women are seen as child-bearing, submissive individuals. In several countries access to education also drives the wedge in gender equality as many women are denied education and rather be married off at a young age. Haphazard legal protection against sexual harassment, domestic violence, and abuse further adds to a great divide in providing equal opportunities for women. Studies show that women earn only about ¾ of their male counterparts for the same job and same responsibilities. Several decision-making policies are also adjudged based on gender roles.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Choose to Challenge’. Gloria Steinhem – a world-renowned activist and feminist once said, “The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organisation, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
So what can I do to make a difference on Women’s Day? I choose to live in a gender-inclusive world where my opinion is equally important as a male colleague. I choose to challenge the stereotypes that are still prevalent today when it comes to gender bias. I choose to support women like me to follow their dreams. I choose to challenge anyone who says – ‘You can’t do this’. I choose to teach my daughter that no matter what, she should never for one moment think that she may be incapable of following her dreams. ‘Girls can do anything!’
Happy Women’s Day 2021
Also read: Women’s Day: From awareness to growth
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