Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women's Day

Why do women still need a day? Perhaps just like Valentine's's just an occasion for branding & marketing. On my way back from Kolkata to Delhi a no-frills airlines wished me Happy Women's Day on the baggage tag. Of course, the airports were full of aggressive Indians of the male species, who jostled and pushed me and other women around and jumped the queues everytime. In fact, each day, in India, should be declared a politeness day.


pablo dasgupta said...

I could not agree with you more. Every day, in every land should be declared politeness day! As a man, I try and respect women every day and not just on one. As a son, I try and respect my parents every day so Mother's Day and Father's Day are less significant. In my humble opinion, the vast majority of these "days" would be unnecessary in an ideal world.

ishani said...

The consumer goods manufacturers, service providers etc see these 'days' as huge marketing opportunities. I feel, such events probably serve no other purpose.

Kaisar Ahmad said...

I understand International Women's Day was initially promoted by the Maoists in China and then spread across the previously Communist world. We noted that in the Russian-E. European enclave in Forest Hills, New York there were long queues of men shopping for their womenfolk today. Sure, it's another boost to the retail trade, but perhaps awareness of the gender equality issue can't hurt - may actually help reduce the jostling-men phenomenon that made Ishani's airport experience so unpleasant.

ishani said...

Interestingly, to the best of my knowledge, International WOmen's Day has its roots in American trade union struggle and not in Russia or China. On 8 March 1857, women working in clothing and textile factories in New York City staged a protest. They were fighting against inhumane working conditions and low wages. The police attacked the protestors and dispersed them. Two years later, again in March, these women formed their first labour union to try and protect themselves and gain some basic rights in the workplace.
In any case, what I feel is that the historical significance today has changed and at best the event needs to be redefined or scrapped. It could mean something very different today than from when women originally felt its need.

Dusty said...

Hi Ishani,
You have a real thought provoking blog here. I am sorry, if this gets posted twice (having some internet trouble and am reposting).
In today's era, instead of just giving their lady employees a rose, corporate entities would do well to actually provide services like a creche and flexi timings. We hear about gyms at work and outdoor activities, do we hear about a creche at the workplace. Sure it comes with its own liabilities attached, so does a gym. Fortunately, my current employer does offer flexitimings, so hurrah for small mercies. But at the same time I wonder whether the same organisation elsewhere in the world is more women friendly. Time to do a story, Ishani.