So the International Women’s Day has come to an end, but does it boil down to one single day dedicated for all that the women have done for us? To start with, they are the prime reason for our existence. Not a single day goes by, where we don’t really take a woman’s help – be it directly or indirectly. Somehow, life doesn’t seem complete if they aren’t around. I mean, who would cook you your favourite curry repeatedly? Who would bake you a cake, the moment you secretly wished for it? Who would prepare a coffee when you’re struggling with your math problems at 2:00 AM? Finding it hard to imagine right? Well, you know the answer. But, guess what? We still don’t treat them the right way, the way they should be treated. Admit it. By ‘we’, I don’t intend at any particular group. It is every single one of us. There’s this biased feeling that circles around everytime we are surrounded by women.

It gets ironical as the UN-selected theme for 2014 is “Equality for women is progress for all.” Does equality really come into picture? No it doesn’t. It never did. Even if it was tried, it was dampened. Forget equality, is there even that nominal respect that a woman is getting, which she deserves? Even in cities like Delhi, there’s absolute zero safety.

“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.”

I come from a South Indian city where there are ample restrictions already imposed on the girl child, enough to suffocate her dreams, her aspirations. And those who take a step forward, trying to set examples, crossing those barriers, to achieve something significant in life for themselves (if not for the society) come into the zone where there are men fighting the competition. Assuming she fights the competition as well, what about those animals who are around sniffing, waiting to prey on. Yes, there are men who are considerate enough. And then, there are sick perverts.

Life has always been difficult for women, right from physical changes to labour pain. As if this wasn’t enough, the humiliation if anything unpleasant happens, adds to the pain multifold. This calls for a simple question that one needs to ask oneself. “Am I literate enough?” If yes, then probably you would know how to respect her. having said that, you need not go out of the way to express your respect. There’s a minimum amount of security and safety a woman expects while walking down the street to her home at 11 PM after finishing her office. If you can give that to her, then I guess, we would not need revolutions, UN themes etc to set things right. A woman is like a teabag – you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water. But, the real question is, do we really have to wait until she gets into hot water, face the adversities?

This is to all the women who have silently battled against all odds, against all prejudices in this male dominated society, against all unreasonable criticism and yet managed to put up a brave smile and face each day with determination and a stronger resolve.

Happy Women’s Day to all the women in my life and to all the women who make this world a better place.

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