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Saluting the Women Power on the special occasion of IWD (International Womens Day) by Prof Yusuf Mehdi

Saluting the Women Power on the special occasion of IWD (International Womens Day) by Prof Yusuf Mehdi

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year worldwide, commemorating the political, social and economic achievements of women. Over the decades, the objective of Women’s Day celebration has evolved and embraced culture and ethnicity to emerge as a celebration of appreciation, respect and love towards women. Women’s Day forms an integral part of the curriculum nowadays to spread the awareness of women empowerment, their roles and achievements.

A little background of the day:

March 8, 1917 in the capital of USSR, Petrograd, began a demonstration of women textile workers,covering the whole city. This was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917, it was predominantly celebrated in socialist and communist countries until it was adopted in 1977 by the United Nations. From that year onwards the whole world has been celebrating this day to pay tribute to women and their relentless contribution for the betterment of the society.

Woman plays a variety of roles throughout her life. She exhibits diversified qualities, in the different roles that she plays – as a mother, a sister, a life-partner, a daughter and of course a source of inspiration.

As a mother she creates life and nurtures it. She fulfils her divine mission with utmost dedication and sincerity. In the Indian Culture, a mother is treated as a deity and comes the foremost in the priority list of worship.

A sister is the best emotional support in ones life!! In the Indian culture, a sister plays a very important role and the festivals like “Raksha Bandhan” and “Bhai Doj” very rightfully highlight the special bond of relation between a brother and a sister.

As a wife she is the perfect companion and is seen standing beside the husband as a support even in the direst of the circumstances.

As a daughter she comes as the most precious gift. A daughter is an asset to the family as very often do we see her sharing the responsibilities equally with the mother and father. A daughter has an essence of motherhood too in her natural instincts and so in the absence of the mother, is the substitute mother for the entire family.

As a daughter-in- law she comes to a new family and then becomes an integral part of it. She takes care of even those people who she had never known. She leaves behind her parents, brothers sisters,and embrace the new relationships. No wonder how adaptable and caring these women are!In all these roles a woman never ceases to be the source of inspiration for the family and the society.

There is a belief that behind every succeful man there is a woman. This is not simply a cliched proverb but a reality. Woman inspires through her hard work and care the people around her.

Today, woman has assumed a new role; I would rather say woman has assumed an additional role of being a working woman. In addition to being a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter, etc. woman is now an entrepreneur, a manager, an administrator, a leader, a teacher. And we can see this new woman of today standing tall shoulder to shoulder with man and at the same time also fulfilling her traditional roles.

Women count for half of humanity. Undoubtedly, they are as important as men to keep the world going. But the human society has never been able to treat the two sections of mankind with justice and reasonableness. Nature may have made both of them equal in importance but somewhere in due course of time, men usurped power on account of their superiority in physical strenght. With this came other priveleges. Women were assigned the task of home keeping, rearing children and other household chores. If it were only for the purpose of division of labour, it would have done well. The unjust part was that its purpose was to relegate women to a secondary position and then exploit them. Women in all the socities of the world occupied an inferior position to men. Men became their self declared protectors and patrons in the roles of father, brother, son and husband. Women had to live under severe restrictions the basic reason of which was male aggression.

Despite all these, women came up and established themselves as equal. And this happened because of their sheer courage and resilience. Today, women, all around the world, hold very powerful positions and are contributing in the betterment of the society in every respect. Today we have innumerable women who have proved their mettle and who have become source of inspiration not only for other women but for men also. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate USA, Melinda Gates, Co-Founder Gates Foundation, Marry Barra, CEO General Motors, Indra Nooyi, CEO PepsiCo, Chanda Kochar, CEO ICICI Bank, Chitra Ramkrishna, CEO NSE, to name a few.

I would also like to say that I consider myself priveleged to have got the opportunity to work with many women in my career so far. I have personally seen these women toiling very hard at work and at home and striking a perfect balance without cribbing and complaining. I have seen these womenlaughing and making even the most stressed situations lively. I have seen these women being worried about their families and still giving their more than 100 per cent at work. And as a gestureof gratitude and appreciation towards them I would like to salute them. In the end I would again congratulate all the women for their contributions. They are indeed a great source of inspiration.

And I would urge all of you to join me and take a pledge that we would not tolerate any kind of exploitation and harassment of women. All of us would stand together to fight against the perpetrators of crimes against women.Thank you very much.