8th March is here, and Women have their day again. Tributes to specific women and to the kind, in general, seem to be appearing everywhere. These seem to be garbed in a spectrum of emotions ranging from mildly condescending to admiringly sincere. Temporarily drowned into the undercurrent by this chorus are voices questioning the rationale of even having an International Women’s Day. Men don’t have a day, do they? And these voices may have a point. Perhaps, there really shouldn’t have to be an artificial construct like the International Women’s Day.
This Day seeks to provide an occasion to recognize the contribution of the women around us. This forces us as a society to acknowledge that such a contribution exists and that it is vital. It is a nod to the undeniable fact, that many choose to deny, that on most other days this contribution is left unacknowledged. This is not an attempt to place women on a pedestal. Rather it is part of well-meaning, but sometimes futile, campaign to give them space they richly deserve.
Even in India women are flying passenger and fighter jets, leading the BSF’s border parade at the Wagah Border, helming businesses, winning medals in sporting competitions, and setting the public policy and governance agenda. But until this becomes the norm rather than the exception, Women will continue to have a Day, at least until they get the rest of the year!