I love womanhood. It is not a curse but a boon to be born as a woman.
I feel gentle inside when I see myself as a mother, sister, daughter and wife. I feel strong and confident when I am taking up any assignment as a trained and qualified professional.
I look forward to a future that is bright because, I am an eternal optimist.
I celebrate womanhood with millions of women all over the world. It is such a joy for me to be born as a woman because of all the beautiful things that only womanhood could give.
I see the brighter side to feel happy and satisfied. I feel wonderful when good people do their bit to bring out the best in me.
I am a woman, phenomenally or not I don’t know, but just love being the way I am. I don’t even attempt to see my life as a man.
I don’t hate all men. And, I do not like all women. So I exercise my individual choice and judgment while interacting with men and women. I respect men and women who respect my womanhood. They make my life beautiful.
Wow! Did I just say that loud and clear? I am feeling so empowered when I am saying that. This is my gift to myself on this women’s day.
But, I know it very well that a majority of women across the world do not have this power to lead a life of their choice and to gift themselves with the gift of dignity they so deserve.
The reasons are too many and “patriarchy”, a much used and abused word, is a reality that persists everywhere in different forms.
Men and women both contribute for the continuation of it. Some do it knowingly, and some do it in absolute ignorance having internalised their gender roles very strongly from childhood.
I had my share of difficulties and obstacles while growing up. The first heartbreak was when my mother stopped me from acting after Class VII.
I was devastated because I loved everything about a play – from the endless rehearsals to the improvisations and finally becoming the character on the stage.
Mother’s disapproval had a valid reason. She said, it may tag me as a bad girl in our conservative small town. I kept quiet and kept thinking: who are these people of the society, who will call me bad if I act?
I was sent to an all-girls school because there was no choice. So many dos and don’ts came my way while growing up and they continued for very long.
Marriage at 22 brought me to shoulder the responsibilities of a daughter-in-law. I failed miserably to satisfy many of the normal expectations of the new family in spite of giving my best. When I became a mother, it brought more responsibilities.
There would be innumerable moments in life when I had to keep quiet, cry alone, do things against my will just to fit into the mould of a good girl and be a good daughter, a good daughter- in-law and a good mother.
I did it all, and yet I never felt like a victim, because I never knew my own power and the fact that I have the ability to use this power within the very system. I gathered myself slowly.
The first step was to resume my studies and, this time, I did what my heart said. I quietly developed my hidden talent to acquire new skills. It was not a radical jump from what I was, hence I didn’t cause too many disruptions.
I communicated my decisions to my husband to go and experience work life in a corporate at the age of 35, and he agreed and supported. It was the best gift I ever got from him.
I realised that more than the society and the system, I was responsible for my fate. I was surprised that even within the boundaries I could do a lot.
Now I love playing all my roles to the best of my ability, but I decide what I should be doing in any given situation. Womanhood is a unique journey for each one of us.
The sooner we come out of the victimhood and explore our own power, the better it is for us. It is time to be more human to understand and respect womanhood.
Hoping for a better world where women can feel happy and safe, where they can dream and follow their dreams, the world where they are respected and recognised for the power of womanhood, the world where they see their true potentials are tapped and they are given all those opportunities to prove themselves, a world where they get paid equally with their male counterparts for similar work.
It is the time we realise, womanhood is power and we can change our fate by working towards it at an individual level till our society creates our dream space for us.
Happy Women’s Day!
(Saswati Kar is a soft-skill and life-skill trainer and social activist)