Since today morning my phone continues to be buzzing with ” happy woman’s day ” wishes, little flower of emoticons and all sorts. One of them says that “Hope your day has the sunshine as well as flowers and happy thoughts to fill the home”. Happy Woman Day.” Another one says, “Happy Woman’s Day,” like one would wish Happy Birthday to a person you haven’t met however is on your Facebook friend list for no known reason.

Each one of these wishes comes from my male friends. I guess in this environment of volatile gender discussions; my friends are only politically correct without actually understanding the relevance of the words.

Happy International Women’s Day:

I do not understand the importance of celebrating an International Women’s Day either. Shall we be celebrating the significant number of men and women who fought non-stop in the early 20th century to bring gender equality? Are we celebrating women, for example Simone de Beauvoir, author of the feminist bible The Second Sex,  as well as Gloria Steinem, author, journalist as well as feminist, who said “The story of women’s struggle for equality is associated with no single feminist neither to any one organisation however to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

If we are not celebrating these people, then let’s start today. In the end, if it were not for a whole generation before us, we would not be sitting free now, writing articles on gender equality as well as voting for a government in our choice or raising flags on rapes as well as domestic violence. So why not we start the happy international women’s day by showing some gratitude to people who fought in the battle for us since we take it forward for “equal rights”!

Discussion of gender equality and equal rights goes beyond the role of a woman in her social and residential environment. It is usually why I’ve found the objective of a day dedicated to women rather retrogressive in the present social milieu.

I’m willing to be inspired by Chris Rock’s opening statement in the Academy Awards this year. In the Marty-ish way, he hit the nail on the head when asked the reason why this year’s Oscars is about racial controversy if this was never raised in 86 years. Rock said, “Well, as we people were busy getting lynched as well as raped 86 years ago, therefore we did not give a black ass who took the awards!”, talking about the period when America was in the throes of racial discrimination, politically as well as socially.

It seems the United States of America is still.

So should we celebrate an International Black Day? Wow! That might be politically wrong.

Well, same with International Women’s Day. The battle might be over. Women around the globe face discrimination of some kind or the other. The idea of equal work and equal pay is far from reality. The reason why did you know that it costs 10 % more to dry clean a woman’s shirt than a man’s shirt? Yes, the next time looks at your laundry bill and does the math. We’re so way off the domestic violence chart we have to show government-sponsored ads in the media to teach people that it is a “punishable crime to beat up women.”

The French government-sponsored an advertisement developed by a fashion magazine against sexual harassment at workplace. In India, we’re still determining the fine print of some commission report that handles sexual harassment at the workplace! However, I am glad I can vote now.

At the same time, our corporates have taken it upon on their own to give every ad campaign they create a lame gender twist to be in tune with the social dialogue. There’s a campaign for a tea brand that shows a few drinking tea while experiencing the rain, and also the husband says some snacks would go well with the tea. The wife clears her throat, takes her own very good time, smiles and ultimately stammers something similar to, “Maybe it would taste better if you made it.” That’s gender equality for you: a wife meekly asking the husband to make some pakoda(a dish), and also feeling very liberated!

There’s another one where the husband gives a “surprise” gift to his wife! Voila! An attractively remodeled kitchen is in her favorite color. Now if that does not make her happy what’s going to?

Shall we give this patronizing attitude a break?

Gender dialogues aren’t lines for Hallmark cards. Neither will they be made the decision over a chai pe charcha as well as panel discussions. However, I am sure they’ll help.

Background of happy international women’s day:

What is International Women’s Day? Much progress has been created to protect and promote women’s rights in recent years. Nevertheless, nowhere in the world can women claim that they can have all the same rights and possibilities as men, based on the UN. A lot of the worlds 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. Typically, women receive between 30 and 40 % less pay than men earn for similar work. Women also continue being victims of violence, along with rape and domestic violence listed as significant reasons for disability and death among women globally.

The first happy women’s day took place on February 28, 1909, in New York which is organized by the Socialist Party of America. The first event, including rallies and organized meetings, was a significant achievement in countries, for example, Austria, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland. The March 19th date was selected as it commemorated the day which the Prussian king promised introducing votes for ladies in 1848. The promise gave hope for equal rights however it was a promise that he failed to keep. The International Women’s Day date was transferred to March 8 in 1913.

The UN drew global focus on women’s issues in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. Additionally, it organized the 1st conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly after that invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights as well as International Peace in 1977. The day targeted to assist nations worldwide get rid of discrimination against women. Additionally, it focused on helping women acquire full and equal involvement in global development. International Men’s Day is also celebrated on November 19 every year.

So, in the end, appreciate all the happy international women’s day wishes as well as pink flower emoticons. I’ll call it a day when I do not have to watch “pakoda” ads as well as a march to India Gate, candle in hand, for that minor who had been raped and burnt in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Till then, wish you a Happy Men’s Day instead of happy women’s day to me.