Happy Women’s Day! Happy Women’s Day?
7th March 2021: I dragged myself out of bed after an awesome Sunday afternoon nap. It was 7 pm. But I was still hungover from my nap and seriously started craving a ginger tea from Chaayos (5 minutes away from my home). As I got ready for a dinner date with hubby to try some Al-Faham chicken, I convinced him to stop by Chaayos on the way.
At 7:45 pm I walked into Chaayos store alone. There was a queue of women trying to order. After waiting for 5 minutes, I finally ordered a Baarish wali chai and started taking out my phone to Paytm the bill. The cashier suddenly says “Happy Women’s Day mam! This tea is free for you. Enjoy.”
Wow. It wasn’t even women’s day yet and already Chaayos had me feel special and killed my hangover (form the nap!). Excited, I pinged some of my girlfriends about the offer.
8th March 2021: I was getting bored on a (uneventful women’s day) Monday evening after my work-from-home hours. Suddenly, my father-in-law showed up, earlier than usual from his evening walk, and handed me a rose and a Dairy Milk Silk chocolate. “This is for you beta. Happy women’s day!” he said. He had got another set for the mother-in-law as well. Bewildered and ecstatic, I took it and started binging on the chocolate. Later we clicked a picture of the rose & chocolate handover (to share on family Whatsapp groups of course!).
9th March 2021: Life was back to the same old work-home-sleep-repeat routine.
It definitely wasn’t my birthday! So why did people/brands treat me such around the 8th of March? I was pleasantly surprised on this women’s day through these 2 sweet and thoughtful gestures. Of course the fake “Happy women’s day!” messages from colleagues or on social media were simply registered as “Fake” and hence completely ignored by my mind.
Is that really the purpose of celebrating International Women’s Day on 8th March?
Being a (self-proclaimed) feminist I can’t help but feel how unequal the world is. Be it household chores, salary, freedom etc, we humans, through our actions and behavior, have “genderized” pretty much everything, with the ball tipping in favor of men by a huge margin. I wouldn’t say that nature didn’t have any role to play in this. But, if we women have the superpower to bring a life into this world (nothing short of a miracle), then why haven’t we been able to claim that power or superiority? Instead we feel guilty many a times for not cooking the dinner, leaving kids at home to go to work, struggle with imposter syndrome etc.
Yes, we do celebrate some women and their achievements on this day (even though we all know that its largely a marketing gimmick!), why can’t we (both men and women) make it a regular affair? Giving birth, child care, never ending household chores, competing shoulder-to-shoulder with men with a handicap (periods!) etc are nothing less than achievements worthy of appreciation and celebration! Yet female education and labor participation remains way below that for men despite knowing the wonders it can do for our communities at large in the long run. A research in the US looked at Census data from 1980 to 2010 to study how women’s participation in the workforce influences wage growth in approximately 250 U.S. metropolitan areas and found that for every 10% increase in the female labor force participation rate in a metropolitan area is associated with a 5% increase in median real wages for workers — both men and women.
No there isn’t any “Employee of the month” award at home nor a “Well done” from the boss for meeting that critical deadline while grappling with cramps. But here are some things that we can all do:
- Offer free chai to first 100 or deserving or in need women every month.
- Gift a rose and/or chocolate (or whatever the hell she likes…I am sure it doesn’t cost a bomb) every now and then.
- Give her a compliment for showing up to work or a meeting on time often for she might be struggling to balance work and home or cramping.
- Remind her “She can” as frequently as possible.
- Do that household chore before she gets a chance to get to it.
How hard does this seem? Not much, right!
How fake does it seem? As real as it can get!
What do you think will be the ROI of your time on this? Unimaginable, for sure!
Will this make for a happy women’s day? Definitely!