INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Written by – Rachel Raj
Women everywhere have come a long way and worldwide, IWD is observed to celebrate women their courage, perseverance, resistance. However there is still much to be done and a long way to go. This International Women’s Day brings us the theme “Inspire Change” by the UN. But Change by whom?? Women, men, everybody, by whom??
How does one inspire change? And what is the change we want to see. I want a society which is built on equity and justice, where mutual respect and love exists. But this seems like a far away dream. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly put it “Be the change you want to see”. Change is slow but it’s constant and starts with individuals. It starts with me and you and this is the change we need to inspire. We, yes, we women need to be the change we want to see. It starts right in our homes.
I was blessed to grow up in a home where there was no discrimination, we respected each other and I was constantly reminded that I was beautiful and that there were more important things in life than just looks. I believed it fully, until I got out of home and met other people who didn’t think the same. I met other girls who had been told that they were not good enough, slim enough and in India- fair enough, not by strangers but by their own mothers, sisters and friends. This destroyed confidence, and self image. I wish mothers led their children to believe otherwise.
I now look around me, here in the villages so far away where women are untouched by days such as IWDs. Here where there are more important issues as maternal deaths and poverty and women get tortured for bringing girls in to the world. Can they inspire change? How would they inspire. But then a closer look at the community, I realize there are champions here as well, I have met mothers who have taken care of their children with intellectual disability all their lives, who have survived their drunk husbands and who continue to live beyond their daily problems and inspire people like me to move on.
Here’s to women everywhere, You are beautiful and strong. Learn to respect yourself and teach it to your girls and boys. It starts with us. Let’s inspire change today…….
About the Author:
Rachel works in Community Based Rehabilitation project with People with Disabilities as a Project Officer with Emmanuel Hospital Association. She is not only my colleague but also my best friend. She is one of the strong, inspiring woman I have ever known and she is the author of this article.
Here’s what Helen Reddy captured in this song “ I am Woman”
I am woman, ………
Oh, yes I am wise
But its wisdom born of pain
Yes I have paid the price
but look how much I gained
If i have to I can do anything, I am strong, I am invincible
I am Woman (Helen Reddy)
check out the full song at http://www.lyricsdepot.com/helen-reddy/i-am-woman.html
God Bless You