International Women's Day: Inclusion, tolerance, end of misogyny — the changes that women want

End of misogyny, more inclusion, tolerance are just some of the things the women of WION want this women's day. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 08, 2018, 08.20 AM (IST)

As many would argue, a single day to celebrate women and their contribution to the society is not enough. We, as a society at large, are going through massive changes in the way we treat our women and deal with the issues that plague them. The last year saw a monumental movement like Me Too coming to the fore where women across the world united and spoke against sexual harassment and called for immediate action against the perpetrators. 

There is a lot do, we admit. But perhaps a day like Women's Day would be a good day to spearhead change in the right direction, spread awareness and sensitize women and men about the issues that women want everyone to focus on. 

We went around asking some of the talented women in WION what change they would want this International Women's Day. The reactions were rather refreshing as most demanded a cohesive, inclusive environment above anything else. 

Here is what the women of WION had to say.

'Love yourself'

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This Women's Day I want none of us to shy away from the fact that, in a way, most of us forget to love ourselves. Caught in the rut of life, the humdrum and chaos of our daily routine drowns the need to take care of ourselves.

This goes out to all those super-women who know no failure -- you juggle multiple roles, outperform your expectations and still choose yourself in the end. This Women's Day, I want all of us to embrace a change and make conscious efforts to put ourselves first more often. Take charge of your health and practice self love; reach out to sisters who are not as privileged as you and before anything, teach them how to take care of their health and how to love themselves. Let this change be tangible, literal... wear it on your face, let it radiate and turn into a happy halo around you!

- Sparshita Saxena, Senior Copy Editor, WION DIgital

'Acknowledge the contribution of other women'
 

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This women's day appreciate and acknowledge the efforts of women in your life. From time immemorial a woman has always played a vital role in the functioning of a family and their home. She is born with the big obligation on her shoulder to take over the responsibility of, first her house, and then her husband's house. Throughout her childhood, she is imparted with the values that she is supposed to assimilate in order to become a credible homemaker.

And with the growing times, these responsibilities have broadened. After woman's active and increased participation in the so-called "man's world", the lady power has not only emerged as a successful home maker but also a tough competition for men in the corporate and business sector. 

-Puniti Pandey, Copy Writer, WION Digital 

'Inclusive environment'

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This Women's Day, I would wish for Indian women to be as empowered as men which in turn implies more freedom, liberation, inclusion, sensitisation towards problems of women and greater role in decision making whether at the work place or at home.

We need to change mindsets and perspectives towards women and overcome and challenge biased and non-inclusive behaviour towards women. At home, women need to take more decisions from deciding which serial to watch to having an equal say in what to buy and where to live. At work, women need to take on greater leadership roles, be in charge of things and prove the biases towards them are incorrect.

-Chandni Prashar, Senior Journalist, WION Digital

'Importance of change'

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International Women’s Day or March 8 is just another date on the calendar as I feel every day belongs to us women and men of course. 

Yes, I identify myself as a feminist but I believe in equality rather than privilege and I want to dedicate this women’s day and every women’s day in the future to ‘change’. If only we (women), in our daily lives are able to bring about a change in two individuals from both the sexes, the world would be a much fairer (read equal, not colour) place to live in. 

I am talking about the change in attitude, behaviour, and ideology. Why don’t we fuel the cycle of change from our own house -- say, parents, siblings? I started with my younger sibling, my brother. Grown up to be a young man himself, my 23-year-old brother hates ads that portray women as sexual objects, was my biggest supporter in marrying out of love, never took my care and love for him for granted and the list can go on endlessly. My next change is my husband (work in progress) and hopefully, my kids when I have them. 

With every change, I hope to see a society where people, both women and men are compassionate, value one another and help each other to grow both in personal and professional space. We (women) have to stop limiting ourselves, reinforcing stereotypes at home and work, promote patriarchal setups and say it’s okay for a woman to confirm and a boy to rebel. We need to bring that change. It’s okay for anyone to rebel or confirm, it should be a matter of choice!

-Zeba Khan, Associate Producer, WION Digital

'More than lip service'

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When India talks about 'Women's day', it seems superficial and overrated. This is the 43rd Women's day and our society is getting liberal with the pace of #TwoHours. Until two decades back, women could stay out of the home until 6 p.m., then 8 p.m. in the next decade, and now, max. up to 10 p.m. And here we are, celebrating the achievements of women. The only thing achieved is #TwoHours. 

-Vanshika Garg, Editorial Intern, WION Digital

'End of misogyny'

On International Woman's Day, I believe we are not far from that day when the invisible glass ceiling that does not allow a woman climb up despite the hard work she puts in will just melt away. Women will not be subjected to snide remarks for struggling to accomplish the herculean task of being a doting mother, loving wife and a committed professional. We don't want to be superwoman because we now know what exploitation the term entails. We are just women. And that is good enough for us. Very importantly, women want to hear less of misogynist comments. No one gets to tell a woman because her husband earns well, she doesn't need a raise for the work she puts in. At work, we don't want special treatment, but don't treat us unfairly.  

- Madhumita Saha, Opinion Editor

'Don't tell us what to do or how to behave'

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It’s Women’s Day today, and as a woman, all I want is to not be reminded of it...not be told “you’re a woman, you shouldn’t be working so hard on your career”, “oh leave it, you mustn’t do that, it’s way too tough”, “you shouldn’t be working till midnight”, “time is ticking think about getting married.” 

I still read about how society reacts to women who aren’t your stereotypical lot and are getting out of the traditional thinking. The thinking of “what would society think” bothers me. We are told to respect fear more than respect ourselves. This is, perhaps, why women fear to talk about being strong, powerful and independent. This is why, the courageous women who do take the stage to talk about it, have to clinch onto their hearts when walking on streets because of the sheer fear of being harassed. I still see it. I still read about it. 

So today, all I want to say to all the women out there is - YOU DO YOU! Trust your gut and have power over yourselves. 

- Anushka Dixit, Copy writer, WION DIgital


'Life should not end after marriage'

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Women empowerment is essential because, for hundreds of years, we are living in patriarchal/gender biased society. I agree there are certain places or certain people who still consider women a second-class citizen but things are changing and changes take time. Slowly and steadily the notion of empowering women is gaining pace.

In recent years, the status of women have seen positive changes. Most parents are focusing on educating their girl child and helping them to realise their dreams pursue higher education and a successful career. 

Women also need to stop compromising with their career after the marriage irrespective of any reason. Fight it out, ladies!

It isn't always that a woman is forced to leave her job by her family members. Many a time she herself chooses to leave the job to appease others. We see a lot of girls in school and colleges but not at the workplace. The reason is quite obvious- a lot of us grew up dreaming about the fairy tale weddings and holy matrimony but there is so much more to do in life, so much to achieve as an individual other than being a good wife or a mother. 

I am not demeaning household work but in the contemporary era, self-dependence is the key to happiness. So get up and go to work even when you are 50.

PS: Dear husbands, learn to cook and prepare the breakfast some time so that she can leave for office in free mind.

- Srishti Sisodia, Copy writer, WION Digital

'React where it is needed'

As hard as being a woman in this country really is, I'm proud to be a part of this changing society.

One change that I would like to see in my society would be to see people becoming more tolerant towards things. Intolerance becomes a major barrier to change. As seen during the release of a Bollywood movie, the intolerance level in the people of India is shocking and what triggers more is that the information provided to them is not always reliable. Without checking the accuracy of the information, many people get hyper and start reacting in a manner that is not suitable.  

Such kind of reactions is not seen when an actual crisis occurs, like violence, or a rape, and so on. Reactions should be provided at places where it is needed, and this becomes one thing that I would want to change here.

- Nandini Singh, Editorial Intern, WION digital

'Train the boys well'

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Our society is going through massive change, no doubt. And while more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of an equal society, there is still a lot to do. There are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed and patriarchy is one of them. 

As women, we have to deal with patriarchy on a daily basis. Be it at the workplace, where a male colleague can pass an unintentional sexist comment, or at home, where a male member of the family may refuse to help with household chores(because that's apparently not HIS job), or at a restaurant, where the waiter doesn't think you are capable to pay the food bill and gives it to the guy, the struggle is constant. So it is important to train our boys well.

Treat your son the way you would treat your daughter- teach him to be self-reliant, self-sufficient and more importantly raise them to become sensitive human beings. Because when we raise our boys well, we get a cohesive, healthy environment where everyone is treated equally. I understand that the change will not happen overnight, but we all have taken a step towards it- so it's only a matter of time that things will change for the better. 

-Shomini Sen, Assistant Editor, WION Digital

'Change the stereotypes'

On International Women's day what I would like to change is the mindset of people and the social norms that stereotype women as the sole nurturer of the society. It annoys me to see that women are treated as unequal. It is unfair to think of them simply as supreme nurturers and goddess of patience and expect them to be always full of kindness and generosity.

Instead, let all the women around you have their own space to grow, to make mistakes and stand up again like any other normal human being full of imperfections.  

Women's behavior is not limited to the kindness and generosity that society has imposed on them. A woman goes through a lot of changes, physically, biologically and emotionally and it would be really nice if society can just leave them alone from stereotyping and always questioning the way she conducts herself. 

No, our hearts are not always filled with forgiveness and kindness- in fact, it is filled with the same emotions and vulnerabilities that every 'human being'  has.

- Shivani Kumar, Copy Writer, WION Digital