International Women’s Day- Celebrating the Feminine

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

UN Women announces the theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 (IWD 2021) as, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers, and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

Women leaders and women’s organizations have demonstrated their skills, knowledge, and networks to effectively lead in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Today there is more acceptance than ever before that women bring different experiences, perspectives, and skills to the table, and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies, and laws that work better for all.

Background History

The very first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911 — almost 110years ago. In 1946, the UN Commission established the first set of standards for women’s rights, encouraging governments to bring their laws in line with international conventions and to encourage global awareness of women’s rights. Fast forward to 2021 — it’s safe to say we’ve come a long way in the evolution of women’s rights. Today, 131 countries have made legal reforms to support gender equality and more girls are in school than ever before.

“Change everything. Or change one thing. As long as you do something. Whether you’re new to changing the world or have been in the fight for a long time. We are all together, united for gender equality. And the future we create for women and girls is up to all of us.” — United Nations Women

Meaning of Women For Me

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Women are the heart and spine of pulsating earth at the center of the universe. We are the mothers, the grandmothers, the great-grandmothers, the creative minds in a universe which often fails to see the contributions we make. We are the homemakers, the nurturers, the artisans of the magical weave which blankets all of life.

We are the cooks, the maids, the CEOs’s the entrepreneurs, the poets, the dancers, the singers, the song. We nurse the babies and teach them to stand, walk, and flourish. We are the listening ear, the wisdom bearers, and the backbone of the family. We are the shoulders of countless men who long for comfort, support, or just a dose of tenderness.

We are the warriors who attempt to bring reason in a society often run by angry men. We are the inspiration, the strength, and the fortitude when others are waning. We are the whispers in the wind who pray for those we love and many we don’t. We are nurses and caretakers who kiss the wounds and heal the hurts, who parent the parents when their time in the sun is setting. We are the roots that flourish even in a drought.

We light the world with love and feed those who hunger and thirst for nourishment. We are women, beautiful, bold, bodacious, bombastic, bawdy, brilliant, and bountiful in our resilience. We are the vine that bears the fruit and seeds all of the earth, the light which ignites the universe.

I’ve seen nothing but sisterhood and camaraderie up and down my social media timeline today. Women shouting out one another and tagging each other in compliments. This is so necessary not just today but every day. It is the very fiber of who we are…not only were we created to give life but to speak life.

To speak life into our kings but to speak life into our children and to speak life into our brothers and sisters. Community is in the very vein of God as we are a part of one Body. As I have always said, we as women are individual movements by ourselves but it is when we come together that the magic happens.

Women’s Empowerment

Photo by Valentina Conde on Unsplash

It is about realizing your potential as a woman and working towards maximizing it. The glass ceilings are so many, stemming from the fallacious belief that women cannot employ their brains on anything other than beauty, cosmetics, children, family, and of course shopping. Cracks in the glass ceiling appear every time a woman achieves her goals.

If the goal is getting into space like Kalpana Chawla did then so be it, if it is setting up a business enterprise like the women at Lijjat Papad or SEWA did, so be it. The point is to go right ahead and forget about the narrow definitions of womanhood that we are expected to conform to.

There are no rules except the ones that are set by others or us to limit our flight to success. Each time we feel that it can’t be done because “I’m a woman” just Google the names of women achievers and their inspiring stories to lay all doubts and fears to rest. The glass ceiling is not a myth but it will have only as much power over us as we let it. I wish I could list down the names of all the women achievers I know, living their extraordinary lives on their terms — fearless, fabulous, and flying high because they didn’t let themselves get into a victim mode but a victor zone.

Let’s embrace ourselves for what we already are and what we can become if we set our mind to it. This Women’s Day lets us achieve our potential to the maximum and let’s not allow the dreams in our heart to be encumbered by our gender.

International Women’s Day reminds me of my career path as a woman and makes me reflect on what I am doing right now. Also, it helps me to be aware of a strong woman/leader who will eventually change the world. I’m proud of what I and so many others who I know and love have accomplished (whether as women in business, stay-at-home moms, whatever!) and think that IWD is a great time for us to rally around each other and support one another!!

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Rabina Dayal

Rabina Dayal

Mind of an Engineer & heart of an artist

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