The world celebrates Womens day today! They’d be discount sales, special offers, free health check ups focussing on women’s health, body, meditation classes and the works, a few awards given, a few women recognised, a few films with women characters, and cast highlighted, a more than few talk shows, debates, discussions .. and the day would one to an end.
It will be redundant to even begin to ask why.
Like after the birthday is over, people get back to being their everyday selves… They may even be the same on this day, just that a few of them get a high out of feeling special as the world is celebrating them! True there will be a small change, one or two reforms, bills passed in favour of the woman, at least it gives the the world an opportunity to discuss women and their issues!however I’d love to see a change in attitude towards women by them and from others with with each passing women’s day!
I’ll give you the example of my househelp who comes to mop and sweep the floors. She refused to take her salary for the previous month with her on the day of Holi (2 March). Holi is a harvest festival celebrated in some parts of India. She was scared her husband who was at home on a holiday from his work for the festival would snatch the money to by bottles of booze, return home and beat her up!!! This isn’t just her case! She is one out of many.
As far as I know, this woman works in 16 houses, earns around 15k a month. Her regular working day starts at 7 in the morning, by the time she is at my door at 10.30 she’d have finished 10 homes. She wakes up at 5 every morning, preps breakfast, packs lunch boxes for her grown up children, gets breakfast ready for her husband –he works a night watchman in a nearby factory– who is back home as she leaves for work. She goes home to prep for supper for her family in the evening, sends her husband to work… gets to bed around midnight after all her household chores are done to wake up at 5 the next day.
This could be an extreme case of the lower rung. I have a peer who is an associate prof in a college in the city. She wakes up at around 4, sends her kids to school, husband to work, heads to college which is like an hour and half by train one way, gets to the department at 1 to attend lectures as part of our course. She gets back home, does her assignments for her course, preps for her classes in colleges, gets to bed around 12 after supper. In her case, travelling itself takes a bulk of her time!
What is it that keeps these women going? I could say, they chose a life, especially my colleague who chose to pursue a course while she was working, which makes her see half of the city on any given day, spend time in public transport on the road and rails more than resting her back on her cosy bed! What about my househelp.
However, in doing all the work without involving their kids and their husbands both of them aren’t making life any better for the next generation of women or for themselves. Their sons would grow up to not help their women, and their daughters would grow up to be burdened with all the extra work..
I’m not saying there aren’t men who aren’t different. There are. Now the trouble here is many of them, or at least a few end up with –I’m a feminist kind of woman, can’t do traditional work, I will concentrate on my career kind of new woman — the men take over from their women but in the process are tired from all the work at home and office, like the women are in most of the other relationships..
a balance seems to be missing in both the cases! but there are relationships that run beautifully as well..
And this is just once instance of the entire anti-women, pro women conditioning campaign! I haven’t even begun to discuss the glass ceilings at work, or inside homes..