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Not Just On Women’s Day

When the media starts sharing positive stories about everyday ordinary women who have achieved success despite the difficulties they face, then we will begin to achieve equality

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Will there be a time we won’t have to call out for women’s day? Every day should be the day we respect each other and encourage, support and enable those in our lives to be the best they can, whether men or women.

While we read horrifying statistics that show women’s participation in the workplace actually dropping and reading about women not being “allowed” to work, study or do as they want, we still need to highlight it.

While you or I lead privileged lives and get to make our own choices but other women don’t, we still need to shout out in their name.

When the media starts sharing positive stories about everyday ordinary women who have achieved success despite the difficulties they face, then we will begin to achieve equality.

The women I work with in a village in Saidanpur, District Barabanki don’t have other successful women to inspire them. When I took the ICICI skill team to present the program which is a 3-month training program, is absolutely free and then involves placement of most of the girls in office jobs, I encountered that. Though the team included 2 girls from villages in UP, from Badayun and Rae Bareli who had undergone the training and got successfully placed one at Lucknow Metro and another at a retail chain being paid between 15-20,000 a month the girls still thought this can’t happen to them.

Till each family starts ensuring that boys and girls do the same chores, get the same access to education and employment, we need to keep talking about it.

The conversation has to move into community spaces, schools, colleges across urban and rural areas. Men and women both need to be involved in the discourse. We need spaces in the community where this becomes a norm rather than a few instances.

We should not have to seek out one woman in tens of men in police, IAS officers, politicians, Bankers, Chefs, pilots or any professionals. Most schools show girls getting higher marks than boys on average in schools so there is no reason for them to be left behind after school.

With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away we all need to press for progress like never before. What we have been doing is not enough! Its not enough to be empowered ourselves, we need to ensure we empower as many in our sphere as we can.

Shift the focus more on empowering the men to realise that they will only benefit by empowering women and will not be less in any way. Share positive stories of men and women who are committed to gender equality.

We are the ones who will drive the change, each and every one of us, so make the difference today, change your attitude, speak up and speak out! #Pressforprogress

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
pressforprogress womens day international womens day

Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah

The author is Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

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