Women’s Day, Every Day. #PressForProgress

Happy Women’s Day. Our yearly reminder, an important and much-needed reminder of how much we need to do for women, for attaining gender parity. This year it calls to press for progress.


“It can be fun to feel exceptional–to be the loophole woman, to have a whole power thing, to be an honorary man. But if you are the exception that proves the rule, and the rule is that women are inferior, you haven’t made any progress.”

― Ariel Levy


Did you know that we are still about 200 plus years away from attaining gender parity? Which loosely translates to the fact that neither you nor your next generation or the generation after that is going to be able to wake up to a day when gender equality is no longer an exception but a norm. It means we’ll be reduced to dust by the time women attain the equality they very well deserve, the equality which is their right. We will probably be living in space by the time women can very naturally earn more than their husbands while the husbands become ‘working dads’ in the truest of sense while raising their kids without it being frowned upon or looked at as exceptions.


So, my question to you is, how long will you wait to put gender parity on your agenda? Yes, how long will you wait and irrespective of your own gender too? Well, the answer to that should be yesterday. Yes, you are, in fact, we are, that late and it’s time we press for change and do it with urgency too. It’s time women are treated as equals and not as inferior beings as opposed to men.


“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.”

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex


Last year, we pledged to be bold for change. Through my #FeministMondays posts, through envisioning the kind of life I want for my daughter, raising questions on how women are treated at work and at home, standing up to mansplaining, asking women to not suffer in silence and raise their voices against injustice despite the probability of conflict and through supporting my female colleagues, I have tried to do my part. A small drop in an ocean of changes that are the need of the hour. And this year I’m going to double my efforts and press for progress. But it’s not a fight that can be won alone. I need you as well in this fight.


So, are you going to #PressForProgress?


What are you going to do when someone casually remarks that women are bad drivers? Are you going to question this assumption about women? What are you going to do when you hear someone saying women are not good at coding? Are you going to challenge statements like these which raise questions about women’s abilities? What are you going to do when resourcing talks for a demanding project assume women won’t be able to handle the load? Are you going to ask the people concerned to not make assumptions and follow an inclusive approach? What are you going to do when you are asked to choose a man as opposed to a married woman for a position fearing that she might ‘go home early’ or ‘get pregnant’? Are you going to put your foot down and decide on merit and merit alone?


These are just some of the questions we need to ask ourselves. And we need to do so every single day of the year, not only today. Attaining gender parity is the fight of the entire human race, not just of women alone. How can there be progress when one half of our population is shunned on account of gender? And remember if it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean prejudiced treatment of women doesn’t exist.


“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists


Being a mother to a daughter, it worries me a lot that it will take over two centuries to even be within grasping distance of gender parity. And it should worry each one of us too. Remember an inclusive society is a prosperous society which makes this fight even more personal for each one of us. I’m going to teach my daughter to not accept any gender stereotypes instead embrace her uniqueness and that of others.


“It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them.”

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex


I have been trying in my own little way to do what I can. My #FeministMondays series is done with the aim to remind myself and others that a lot of work still needs to be done. To remind each one of us that bias still exists, a bias that we have started to overlook and must take notice of to fight. That next time when you see a woman waiting till all the men in her family finish eating, you remind her that she can eat along with the men. In fact, she should eat along with the men and not just the leftovers. That she can eat the biggest piece of fish and not feel like she has done something wrong by not offering it to her husband. That next time when you see a man trying to interrupt a woman in a meeting room, you ask him politely to not do so. These prejudices are so subtle sometimes that we need to be really mindful to notice and fight these. The fact is we all need to be feminists, men and women alike and remember that it isn’t a dirty word which we need to be disassociated from. And my attempt is to turn each one of you into one. Also, to make each one of us, especially the women rally together for this is a fight that we cannot afford to lose, a fight that had been dragged on long enough already.


“But women do not say ‘We’, except at some congress of feminists or similar formal demonstration; men say ‘women’, and women use the same word in referring to themselves.”

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex


There is a sense of urgency in the air to bring about a sea change in the way gender is perceived and treated. The fight for equality is again gaining momentum. Thankfully. Maybe it’s got to do with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements with celebrities talking more and more about it. Whatever the reason there is no time like now to do everything in our capacity to press for progress. And it doesn’t have to be something drastic. Small changes from each one of us can slowly but certainly build that bridge which takes us to gender parity, equality.


“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong…it is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideas.”

― Emma Watson


So, I urge you to press for progress at home and at work. Do it in every sphere of your lives. Press for progress so that the girls and boys of the next generation can grow up to form an inclusive, just and safe society. Teach your sons that they can like pink. Teach your girls that they can like blue. Teach your girls and boys that ‘like a girl‘ is a compliment. Teach your boys that it’s okay to cry and be sensitive. Teach your girls that they don’t need to be delicate just because they are girls. Teach your girls that marriage and bearing kids aren’t their life’s sole purpose. Ask for equal pay for equal work. Ask for equality in marriage. Ask to not be overlooked for promotions because you are a mother. Ask for the wedding cost to be split between the bride and the groom. Break gender stereotypes. Fight to be equal, not less or more than each other. Ask for gender parity to be put on the agenda because trust me you don’t want to wait 200 years for something so basic, something so important.


Let us promise to do more, be more and fight against all odds for this dream of gender parity.


“We will not let ourselves be intimidated by the number and violence of attacks against women; nor be fooled by the self-serving praise showered on the “real woman”; nor be won over by men’s enthusiasm for her destiny, a destiny they would not for the world want to share.”

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex


Women’s Day, every day! #PressForProgress


About time women fight with urgency for gender parity. The time is now. #PressForProgress #Women #WomensDay2018 #LikeAGirl


Pic Credit | Tharun 15 via Shutterstock

8 thoughts on “Women’s Day, Every Day. #PressForProgress”

  1. A very nice article indeed. Let’s make some real, sensible noise now. You are right, 200 years is a tad too long to wait!

  2. THere is a long way to go still for Gender Parity Naba.. Lets hope the future generations actually speeden the process up.

  3. Intense and strong post. As a woman who is 40, I can say in the last 5 years we have probably made more progress than in the last 50 – i think with bringing to light some of the issues and problems. obviously still ways to go.

  4. Yes!!! Great post!
    Just this week I had to encourage, (perhaps most would call it convince but I call it encourage as she is the victim and she took the stand. I just stood beside my fellow sister and let her know that she is not alone), to address a situation that made her uncomfortable at her work place due to another male.
    It was disheartening to see what she had to deal with in doing so and how it made her feel but it also only threw gasoline in my passion and determination for this kind of change! Having daughters was a true eye opener!!
    Thank you for being a voice! Thank you for being that strong drop in this big ocean. No act or word is too little!

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