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As the fast train from Churchgate to Virar reaches Bhyander at 8:25pm, a crowd of people get down rushing towards the bridge on way out of station. As people assemble there, some men shouting “jaldi chalo”, pushing each other on way to go ahead and ladies fearing any injury wait annoyingly for their turn. All of a sudden a woman shouts “ladako ko jaldi hai unko ghar jakar khana banana hai.” Upon this a male person replies “banana nahi hai khana hai”. This brings a roar of laughter.

This incident though humorous portrays a stark attitude of nature of work of male and female. It shows no matter where a woman is, there are responsibilities and the unsaid duties she is tied up with and should do them regardless of any reason. It also states the “self-responsibilities” a woman has acquired and pledges to fulfil.

There are innumerable issues which a woman faces, such as- the work pressure, family pressure, societal pressure, the balancing of needs and responsibilities, the conflict between her choices and that of others, the “living up to expectation” etc. Irony is that in spite of women succeeding in the handling of various task they are still considered as vulnerable, weak and continue to be the most abused section of society.

This raises a pertinent questions- Is the society ever going to change? Are laws insufficient? Are the existing laws ineffective? Is the custom overpowering the laws? Should the people not forget that they live in a Patriarchy society? Why celebrate Women’s day?

There are certain section of the society who question the celebration of this day. Statements are made such as- “gain footage”, “it foreign to our country”, “women are overpowering us (men)”, “sympathy gainers”. Answer to all such statements is the historical check on the reasons and importance of this day.

Women’s day is a global day of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It is celebrated to acknowledge the women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.  

It is important to understand that the laws for woman were framed because she was abused and denied rights. It was not done on purpose or a ploy or to make woman superior to others.

To all those people who question the laws being misused by them, well there are other laws which have being enacted and misused such as AFSP Act. Why not question them and give the same awkward and uneasy stares? It is open secret that society does consist of people who use and misuse the law. Why blame the whole gender or community for a handful?

As the society is developing new challenges crop in such as the #Me Too Movement which will require the laws to be amended to provide necessary safeguards and protections. Now instead of curbing the immediate problem one should not start with “character assassination” of a woman.

A rough sketch of a woman at workplace: meeting the deadlines, struggling to break the glass ceiling, answerable to all the unwanted and baseless talks and taunts, importantly look after the household work before and after leaving for office, and weekends exclusively for pending household works. A rough sketch of woman is not working and is home maker has no less responsibilities because her day starts and ends with the household works. A general statement is made for them – it is you who have taken this task upon yourself? Yes a woman has taken upon herself the tasks respect it don’t point fingers at her. It is unfortunate that due to prejudices the feelings of “Us” versus “Them” “haves” and the “haves not” has been created between male and females, be it any field of profession or any in issue.

It is time that people stop making statements which disrespects a woman. People should realize that a woman is working not to prove herself superior to others but to achieve her aims her goals. The demand is not to change the prevailing customs or moral duties as whole. The demand is to add in and recognise other duties which can co-exist with custom.

The 2019 International Women’s Day campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter. Let us all join in hands leaving behind the prejudices and vices and accomplish the objective.