International Women’s Day: A toast to the fierce, fabulous female
Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. As the world grapples with a deadly pandemic, women across various fields have emerged path-breakers — proving to be role models to all and shaping opinions across the board. This year’s theme is, ’Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world,’ that celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future. And here are some women achievers sharing their experiences and vision.
“If we see the past one-year, women, despite being the worst-affected, are the unsung heroes of the Covid-19 crisis. Women have not only supported their families but have also stepped up to overcome financial hardships as men lost jobs. Women have also supported the society by making masks and other personal protection equipment. On this years International Women’s Day, I tip my hat to the many Durgas in our cities, towns and villages,” Harjinder Kaur Talwar, National vice president of FICCI CMSME, Immediate Past President, FICCI Ladies Organisation and National board member of MSME
“Women struggled the most during the Covid-19 pandemic. She not only fought bravely on all fronts at home, but carried financial burden too. If a member of the house fell ill, he was also looked after by the female of the house. Feminine power is an extension within all possibilities. During pandemic, we women have established many new dimensions, covering our inner strength with all the energy. There were already online tutorials abroad, but in the Covid-19 era, teaching foreign students, going live, reading books online, publishing books online, was all a new experience. Working differently from a regular routine and then connecting with nature’s beauty around us was not only a unique experience in itself, but a state of infinity after infinity. Now many new fields are opening up with new self-power,” Anita Verma, professor, author and columnist
“Women have always been the torch bearers, pandemic or not! And the Covid-19 scare was an additional situation. Women and families have their own worst to deal with constantly in life anyways. But feminity is strength within. I had Covid-19 myself and at my age it had me at my worst. But at 43, I realised, life is as unpredictable as it was when I was two-years-old. Our contribution in the pandemic stricken world was that we never let off our staff, never short change them, even though we had financial constraints. We have dogs — 65 of them at home — and many more on the streets that we fed throughout the Covid-19 lockdown phase and still do!,” Rubina Dhankar, interior designer
“In Buddhism, there’s a great quote — ‘Women are sun of the family’. You give warmth, you sustain. If you are feeling low, it reflects on people around you. It’s not just about women’s empowerment these days; it’s empowerment irrespective of your gender. One thing I believe becomes imperative for women in today’s world is the ability to sustain yourself and others by being financially independent. The glares, the stares and the judging makes you doubt yourself but the key is to let go of inhibitions. We went around distributing ration and trolleys of food, to whoever we could reach. The biggest thing during Covid-19 was to keep going, whoever kept going, got through,” Rina Dhaka, fashion designer
“Men and Women are treated equally in today’s world and that should be the mindset of approaching an equal space on the ladder of life. Women in villages are working with me and their efforts and skill is being recognised. As women, we’ve become much aware and responsible of how we’d be taking care of the environment around us. And as everything paused, we realised why are we running so much? We started focusing on relationships and more meaningful things in life. We’ve all become very conscious. It has turned the mindset of humankind in the best possible way — we’re now more responsible about what’s happening around us. As everything got shut, I kept in touch with my artisans and weavers, kept giving them designs to work on and kept their hopes up. I’ve always worked with local artists and promoted craftsmanship of our country,” Anju Modi, fashion designer