“We should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’, and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist. People get a label when they’re bad. – Maisie Williams”
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 began on February 25th and ended on February 28th. This year it featured some breakthrough technologies in the Mobile world and the most awaited was the famous revolutionary foldable mobile phone. All was well until a female reporter claimed that the phone was just not designed keeping women in mind. As shocked as I was, I began to wonder why. Why was it a big deal? The reporter exclaimed that while it was easy for men to show it off and carry it in their pockets, the women could barely squeeze it in their pockets.
That really got me thinking. This woman was thinking on a completely different level. And why not? As a minimalist I hate to carry tons of things in my hand bag. Why then should we women not have a phone that fits into our pockets too?
So that’s what the 2019 International Women’s Day is all about. #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. It was first adopted by the United Nations in 1975. No doubt we women have come a long way since then but, “There are miles to go before I (we) sleep.”
From equal pay to equal representation….balance is necessary. Balance in anything is vital for existence. Balance starts at home…from homes where the male child is preferred to the villages where the girl child is aborted or killed soon after birth, balance is important. Unless a woman is exposed to that balance, even she does not know it exists. We today, are fighting to break that glass ceiling and have the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage and even gender-balanced employees at the workplace.
All the above are necessary but in some countries women are still fighting to be recognized as living, breathing human beings with their own minds. Glimpses of a frightened me walking the streets of India after college, in the not so late nights still haunt me. This is not how I wanted the girls after me to spend their lives. But sadly, it is still the case and in some ways it has become worse. This situation that women live in is why most of them await the day that they fetch themselves a groom in a foreign land. Once they are successful in doing so, most of the times they are yet again at the mercy of the man. Some get lucky and live their lives to the fullest but then again some continue with their unlucky fate. It is still beyond me how the world can disregard nearly 49% of the world’s population. We need to teach our girls to fashion their own fate.
So how do we begin to set things right? We all know the answer but lack to put it into action. It is simple….’good habits begin at home’.The awareness is what is required. To an extent, mobile technology and the internet has made it possible. It is relieving to see that women representatives go into the remotest of villages to educate and make girls, women and most importantly the men aware of the world around them and the rights that they should have and should fight for.
For us lucky ones, let’s educate our girls. Let’s not always tell them stories of male chivalry. Let’s tell them about Hazrat Khadija (R.A), Indira Gandhi, Anne Frank, Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, Marie Curie and many many more. Let’s empower them to achieve their true potential. Let’s build the ground where they can thrive. As the saying goes “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” Let’s fix the environment.
Balance will pave for a better working world. Balance is not just a women’s issue, it is a world wide business issue. It is important for communities and economies to thrive. Let’s try to make the world better in our own little way. The 2019 #BalanceforBetter is a year long campaign. Remember that it doesn’t end when the clock ticks to 12am on March 9th every year. Do your part. Educate and Empower!
Let’s all strike the #BalanceforBetter pose and vow to do as little or as much as we can to make a positive difference.