While I sat down to write this piece to commemorate Women's Day, I thought to myself 'What is it that I can write about women that the world has not spoken about already?' We live in 2021, an era where women have found their voice along with their feet, we speak about the issues that were once buried in the ground out and loud, we stand for ourselves and not depend on anyone for love, for shelter, for finances or for validation, we know our mind, our body and our soul, we know how to make our mark and be unapologetically ourselves while doing so.
Even though the world around us has taken a mix of monumental and minor steps to celebrate us, do we really acknowledge how much of it is actually true celebration and how much of the respect given to us is just for show? I've seen progressive, educated people around me who cheer for gender equality in front of crowds but disrespect women behind closed doors. I have seen too many people put out social media posts regarding women's rights, who if personally asked lack the basic sensibility of understanding the seriousness of these issues. I have seen women pull other women down. I have seen men uncomfortable with having strong, intelligent and worthy women by their side. Living in a South Asian society I have seen parents discriminate between their children. I have seen men casually joking around about women's personalities and body parts. I have seen bosses dragging down their female workers. I have seen aunties talking in a derogatory manner about small girls who are naive and fragile. I have seen men feel threatened by powerful women overshadowing their opinions. I have seen way too much to digest in this progressive era of 2021. Should it really be like this if we are actually progressing as a society?
I think it's about time we give this a thought and look within ourselves individually. It's time we stop sharing posts and actively participate in real life issues. It's time we actually stop judging and start living. It's about time we GENUINELY stand together, accept women for being flawed, unique and HUMAN and it's about time we collectively celebrate life together and not at the cost of disrespecting one another. Happy Women's Day!
- Sarwat Zahin
Here are 10 illustrations that celebrate women for who they are :