Happy International Women’s Day: Are We There Yet? | The Women of IIM Trichy Speak

“Happy International Women’s Day” read the message which popped up suddenly on my phone. Customarily, I replied, “Thank you so much”. However, it lingered on in my mind as to why there is so much of a buzz around the same. To delve a bit deeper into the matter, I decided to talk to the women around me to inculcate the basic understanding about it in all the ignorant masses out there. I am putting some of the excerpts of the discussion here.

(The beautiful ladies of IIM Trichy, Batch 2018-20. Picture courtesy: MR Committee, IIM Trichy)

International Women’s Day implies different things to various individuals, yet the worldwide spotlight on equality and festivity is clear to all only to some extent.

All through the old and present-day history, ladies have worked together and led deliberate activities to change the imbalance in the desire for a superior future for their communities, kids and themselves. Regardless of whether through striking all around a recorded activity or through humble obstruction that never made it into the history books, women across the world have joined for fairness and accomplishment. What’s more, en route, one especially incredible coordinated effort lead to the development of a globally united moment for women crosswise over nations to come up together in action and hope. That moment is “International Women’s Day”.

International Women’s Day is guided by certain values that provide direction for the kind of activity, conduct, and ethos. Moreover, some of the values that drive the day are Equality, Justice, Dignity, Respect, Empathy, Tenacity, and Hope.

The day is dedicated to all the wonderful women across the globe. They are the pillars of strength, counsel, and cheer and so much more than they get credit for. They are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and best friends. They take up so many important roles selflessly. But is just a single day enough to celebrate the Women’s Day?

Here’s what some of the beautiful ladies at IIM Trichy has to say related to the topic.

Aditi Shah
Commerce Graduate from H.R College of Commerce and Economics.
Storyteller and an artist who believes in equal rights.

Why are we always taught right from our childhood that having a doll is a girl thing and that playing with cars is a boy thing?  Pink is a girl thing!
And when a boy starts playing with the doll,  he is supposed to have feminine traits and is looked down upon. But if a girl starts playing with cars, she is cool.
If she wears or does what boys are “so-called” supposed to, she is cool?

Why is the phrase “running like a girl”, “hitting like a girl”,  “crying like a girl” looked down upon? And “being a man” as a phrase is something to be proud of?

Girls hit. Girl run. Girls cry.

Boys hit. Boys run. Boys cry.

And you can too.. in a way that suits you because the creator didn’t distinguish us in these ways. I am not the other gender. I am half of the human species. An equal half.

I am a girl, and I’m absolutely proud of it.

Deepanjal S Nambiar
BSc. PCM, Christ University Bangalore, 
Huge Potterhead, an ardent feminist.

There are a lot of issues to be addressed in terms of the empowerment of women, and they are being talked about. However, there are two things I find very disturbing but are rarely considered to be abnormal.

Today, most of the good institutes have hostel facilities. But even within the same institute, hostels for men and women have different rules and different facilities. After talking to a lot of girls, especially pursuing their graduation, I realized that the in-time for women is always much earlier than that for men. While men’s hostel curfew can be anytime after 9, women can be locked up inside their hostels anytime from 6 PM. This happens even in prestigious institutes such as the NITs. Even the quality of food in these hostels are compromised. When such rules are enforced from such a young age, it is like we are teaching these young boys and girls that women have to be locked up and men deserve all the freedom in the world. This can affect the mindset of these students too.

Glorification of women’s sacrifices. Every time there is Women’s day or Mother’s day, we see people wishing women glorifying the sacrifices they make, saying how mothers sacrifice their dreams for their children and women bear all the anger from their husbands. They talk about how women are “more patient than the earth”. I think we need to understand that women make these sacrifices not because they want to but because they have to. They are conditioned from a very young age that they don’t deserve the rights that their male counterparts enjoy and that their primary duty is to take care of kids and look after the house.

Discrimination in sports in schools: I have observed that during PE hours, a lot of importance is given to sports for boys and they are encouraged to play physically demanding games like football and cricket, but girls are given a frisbee or some skipping ropes to play with. This, in turn, leads to the boys growing up playing a lot of games and being very concerned about staying fit and the girls playing lesser and lesser when they grow up. I think schools need to be sensitized on the importance of promoting these games in girls as well.

Dr. Avni Sethi
Work experience of 1 year as a Dentist.
Passionate about travelling, food and tennis, she loves to meet new people and connect with them on a personal level,
Wishes to pursue marketing as her major at IIM-T.

We’re living in an era of equality, in an era of feminism. But how much of what we preach do we actually practice? A true celebration of womanhood comes not from celebrating her achievements and victories but from celebrating her for who she is. Homemaker, comedian, manager, young, old, healthy, skinny, straight, lesbian. Why is it that we glorify women only after they’ve become Presidents/CEOs or achieve accolades in their industry? A woman, no matter what her occupation is, no matter where she comes from and no matter how hard she works must be celebrated today and every day! A girl must be celebrated at birth, just like the celebration that takes place when a boy is born. That is when we would truly be called equals. Let a woman be herself unabashedly and we’ll truly know the meaning of celebrating women’s day!

Ishita Singh
Worked experience as an Instrumentation and Project Engineer in the Oil and Gas Sector.
Winner of various singing competitions,
Huge Bollywood movie buff

I think a lot has been said about the gender equality in recent times but there’s still a long way to go. We see a lot of women taking a stand for themselves as well as for other women but what we now need is #HeForShe. We need more men standing up for us and not just talking about feminism. I often see men casually using the terms feminazis, feminism and confusing it with man-hating. This has to stop. So, to all the men out there, be okay if we’re getting paid equally, if we’re making our own decisions or if we’re getting involved in the policies and decision making of the country. Be okay to see your wife/sister doing better than you. Be okay to see us shattering the glass ceilings.

This isn’t an ego war, this is about a woman walking hand in hand with a man towards growth, towards glory.

Kavya Mohan P
Work experience of 2 years as a Strategy Management Consultant.
Marketing and strategy enthusiast
Avid dance enthusiast, trained in 3 classical dance forms

I feel that men should stop taking women and their choices granted. If we collectively start respecting the choices of each other irrespective of our gender, the world will be a much better place for women.

Coming from a small town set up, I am someone who is, even now, accused of ‘being too ambitious’.

Choosing your own path which is different from the set norms for a woman is still difficult.

Let us give freedom to our girls to be what they want. Let us nourish them to achieve their goals instead of cutting their wings because that’s what girls are expected to do!

Soujanya Puvvalla
Work experience of 3 years in IT Consulting Sector.
Sports, Art, and a Cooking enthusiast who is also into making and selling of handmade crafts.
A social butterfly who has 3 years of work experience from Deloitte.
Aspires to become an entrepreneur.

In many social gatherings, people consciously or sub-consciously mock women about how women are bad drivers or how they are only good for becoming receptionists or crack jokes about how they are only good for making men a sandwich. However light the situation is, it does reflect the subconscious bias some men have towards women and question women’s’ merit in securing a job and their climb in the corporate ladder upon their performance on the job. Men have to be conscious about such jokes irrespective of what their intentions are and what the situation is. Tolerating the mockery of an entire gender is as good as supporting it. As a society, we need to encourage each other and go towards a society where the job requirements decide the candidate and not the gender.

Don’t question a woman’s capacity to do a job. She could be better at it than a man.

Swetha Vadlamudi
Work experience of 2 years in IT sector.
An alumnus of IIT Hyderabad,
A sports and dance enthusiast.

A woman plays multiple roles in her life and the beauty lies in seamlessly balancing all of them in her own style and creating a mark. There is always a mighty force that keeps driving her. For me, it is Sports, which has once been a pass time and has now become a lifestyle. The way it transformed me into the strong and confident woman I am today is beyond exceptional.

May every woman realize her true potential and stand out strong.

A very happy women’s day to every woman out there.

***

These are the thoughts of the well-educated women who are shortly going to join the corporate sector. They have come across some or the other kind of situation which they have talked about in the discussion.

So, to conclude the discussion, we see even women in higher societies are being victims of humiliation, exploitation, and ill-treatment. Then just imagine the condition of the women in the lower strata?

There should be an environment where a woman feels good and safe and everyone – both men and women must work together to create a society where everyone is given an environment to grab the opportunities to prosper in life based on their determination and talent to achieve something in life.

This day has passed again as usual but again succeeded in leaving us with the speculation of the future of the implementation of women’s day in a true sense.

Though we celebrate international women’s day how much of the changes needed to achieve some kind of equality is actually being implemented.

Apurva Sharma

Apurva is currently pursuing an MBA at IIM Trichy. She is a Core Member of Infrastructure and IT Committee of IIM Trichy. She is an avid reader and loves to explore serene places. Apurva is a marketing and research analytics enthusiast. She is a part of InsideIIM Student Team 4. She has 3 years of work experience in product based software companies such as Practo Technologies and Naukri.com as an Android Application Developer. She holds a B.Tech degree in Information Technology from Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) - Allahabad.

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