Women - being the change they want to see

Women - being the change they want to see
Highlights

Women - Being The Change They Want to See. The theme of 2014 is: Equality for Women is Progress for All. Today we join the people of the world in celebration of the progress made for women’s rights, empowerment and equality. Across the country, women are commiting themselves to working harder for gender equality, together.

Women can choose to be cynical and focus on violence, rapes and lack of access to opportunities to excel or decide to put their shoulder to the wheel and get their progress going. Five women – articulate, talented and accomplished – talk about what the International Women’s Day should actually translate into. They have done it and want other Indian women to do - that is to usher in the change themselves without waiting for anyone else to do so.

Women - being the change they want to seeThe theme of 2014 is: Equality for Women is Progress for All. Today we join the people of the world in celebration of the progress made for women’s rights, empowerment and equality. Across the country, women are commiting themselves to working harder for gender equality, together. This year’s theme emphasises how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. It also stresses the vital role of women as agents of development. But what does this day mean for India’s women? Sexual violence against women in India is widespread throughout the country. Changing this reality demands a change in mindset, behavior and attitude. But in the short run, it can be reduced by strong gender-sensitized law enforcement combined with swift and uncompromising justice.

Indian authorities must act in the interest of the security of women regardless of whether or not they are powerful, have moneyed relatives or are one of their own. Until the rule of law along with justice and equality prevails, India’s inequality gap will further aggravate. We talk to five women who articulate their thoughts on women’s empowerment.

Women can be tough leaders- - Aruna Bhauguna, Director – National Police Academy

Let’s think about children growing up in the atmosphere of family violence. Unfortunately, the majority of them continue to live in the same way they grew up – some as victims of violence and some as perpetrators of violence

Women - being the change they want to seeEvery woman is good at multi-tasking. You can balance work with home, your parents with friends, responsibilities, your obligations, and also take out a little time for yourself. I also cherish the fact that we are able to be soft and harsh at the same time, we retain our humanity and sensitivity, yet we can be tough leaders. Woman is an embodiment of compassion. It's not that we are soppy or we fall apart when things get tough. Women are resilient and strong. Women inherently are stronger than men; they can deal with adversity and tough times much better

This day has to be celebrated as it draws attention and reminds women of their rights and men their duties.

This International Women's Day, let us educate ourselves and the society at large, especially the men around us about the importance of celebrating their other half.Feticide, forced marriage, women in armed conflict, rape, trafficking, partner violence, humiliation, economic violence, sexual abuse, marital rape….

Have you ever counted the many forms violence against women?

Where does it start and where does it end? Let’s think about children growing up in the atmosphere of family violence. Unfortunately, the majority of them continue to live in the same way they grew up – some as victims of violence and some as perpetrators of violence. Every action, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. We need to believe we can.

Celebrate power of individual woman - K Kavitha, Telangana Jagruthi president

Collectively, as members of groups or organisations also, women have a unique opportunity to inspire change by voicing opinions and concerns in numbers

Women - being the change they want to seeIt is not about empowering a woman in position. It is about the safety of a woman on road. We, as a part of our welfare plans of Telangana Jagruthi, will pressurise the government to have women’s police stations in every constituency and arrange for fast track courts. I now see many women speaking about the issues which once considered as taboos in our society. We literally need to create more spaces for victims, start initiatives like ‘Take Back The Tech’ (a collaborative campaign that calls for everyone to take control of technology to end violence against women) and more counseling for victims of abuse and more awareness raising events where public at large can participate both men and women”

One of the challenges facing us is: “How do we best inspire change?” There are various ways to work: as an individual, as a member of a group or organization, or on the political level. We should not minimize the importance and power of the individual woman — the mother, the teacher, the worker, etc. — and the influence she can have on our children and on our communities. Collectively, as members of groups or organizations, women have a unique opportunity to inspire change by voicing opinions and concerns in numbers. For those who choose to enter the political arena there are numerous ways to inspire change. I would not like to call myself a feminist because I don’t consider women as the weaker sex. Why show our vulnerability? I strongly believe in treating my mother and mother-in-law equally which gives a balance to relationship and families are happy.

Every dream is valid - Vidya Balan, actress

The dream could be as simple as having other people acknowledging your plight in the hope that it may be different for those behind you

Women - being the change they want to seeTo me, every woman is a form of Durga and Shakti. There are many things to celebrate on International Women's Day, the equal opportunities and rights those women before us have fought for, advances in health and reproductive care. Women, no matter what their circumstances, can and do dream. Dreams are valid, no matter where you're from. The dream could be as simple as having other people acknowledging your plight in the hope that it may be different for those behind you. Sadly, there are still far too many stories of women that will never be heard today, or even told in the future but from what we hear and we actress act, I think it should make an impact on our lives.

'Ishqiya', 'The Dirty Picture' and 'Kahaani', these movies, I feel somewhere reinvented women-centric films in Bollywood and I am glad I could justice to the roles to bring an impact in the society. And the actress feels it's the reflection of women in society.

The programme that we are doing ‘No More Kamzor’, it is for girls of all ages. We want women to get confident watching this show about the true lives of women who fought relentlessly in their lives. Who says women is a weaker sex? Women should look around for inspiration. I personally look up to are my mother Saraswathy Balan, my mother-in-law Salome Roy Kapur, my elder sister Priya Balan. They made an impact in my life and they send positive vibrations.

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