Will International Women’s Day 2022 Also Be Only About The Hashtags Without Any Real Change?

Society has become fond of telling women what they should do/not do, wear/not wear, putting chains in the feet of women who would otherwise soar to great heights.

8th of March, International Women’s Day. This year the theme is #BreakTheBias.

Just like every year, the corporate world will pull out all the stops, offer gifts to their women employees, and decorate their offices pink.

The Government and NGOs will convene think-tanks to discuss how to improve the condition of women.

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Brands will work overtime to sell their products using the colour pink and the allure of diamonds.

Some woke men will write encouraging shout-outs to the women in their lives. But will celebrating International Women’s Day really change the ground reality for women?

Violence against women escalating

If we talk only about the year 2021, the NCW received nearly thirty-one thousand complaints of crimes against women. This is the official figure of crimes that are reported. There are thousands more that go unreported.

In July last year, there was the Sulli deal in which profiles of Muslim women were put on social media for online auction. The start of the year 2022 started with the Bulli bai deals, where profiles of Muslim women activists were again put for an online auction. This included the sixty-year-old mother who is searching for answers about her son.

A few months ago, a woman was humiliated, her modesty outraged for daring to refuse the attentions of a stalker.

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Two days ago, I read the news about a four-year-old raped by her older, minor cousin.

As I write this post, there is a case going on in the high court of a state, where young girls are fighting for their right to education along with their right to practice their religion.

Policing women’s choices

Society has become fond of telling women what they should do/not do, wear/not wear, putting chains in the feet of women who would otherwise soar to great heights.

I, too, got mansplained and reprimanded last year for daring to say on social media that the book Kim Jiyong, Born 1982, should be read by all men. The fault was, of course, mine. How dare I, a woman, presume to tell a man to read a book that talks about the harassment, the daily humiliations that a woman faces, whether in South Korea or India.

Is it all going to be just about the hashtags?

I sometimes wonder at the futility of it all. Of hashtags like #BreakTheBias. Do they work, apart from trending on social media? Or are we just assuaging our guilts by turning a blind eye to the daily humiliations and the degradations that less privileged women face? A few good men might listen, but the rest of the men? They seem to suffer from collective deafness. For, if they had been listening, wouldn’t they have raised their voices when Nirbhaya was mutilated? When the Hathras victim was silenced? When a young woman was humiliated on the streets of Delhi in broad daylight? When school-going girls who fight for their fundamental rights bear the brunt of mockery in mainstream media?

Some might say that this post is negative. It shows the status of women in our country in a bad light. They will argue that progress has been made in the way women are treated in our society. In each field, women have made great strides and broken glass ceilings. To all of them I ask, will you send a female member of your family in the night alone, without fear beating in your heart?

As for me, the 8th of March will be, just another day when I will pray that God keeps the women of our country safe.

Image source:  YouTube

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My Motto is you can learn anything from books! I am an engineer turned SAHM turned book blogger. I love to read, talk and write about books. I am passionate about instilling a love for read more...

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