Unlike what a lot of people believe, Women’s Day is not a recent invention by women to get people to appreciate women and certainly not a trick to enjoy any special treatment for a day.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It has been celebrated across the world for over 100 years now and started in the 1900s when women started to come together and work towards equality in the face of a fast-changing and increasingly industrialised world.
The 2020 edition of International Women’s Day is celebrating the theme #EachForEqual, which gives us an opportunity to acknowledge our differences and respect them and create a better world for all.
Here are 10 refreshing ways to celebrate this iconic day:
(1) Identify your achievements, reward yourself.
Acknowledge all that you have overcome – your personal limitations, balancing different responsibilities, challenges at the workplace, etc. Take a moment to acknowledge all the challenges that you faced, and continue to navigate, to become the person you are today. Indulge in some good old self-care to reward yourself for it. Whether it means that you have a slow, lavish breakfast or that you indulge in therapeutic retailing, own it and go for it.
(2) Help out a male partner/friend
Even the well-meaning, well-raised male friend will take some time to overcome the constant subliminal messaging that we receive since time immemorial. Be patient and help them understand why something as simple as going out with friends can be a difficult conversation that girls and women need to have with their well-meaning families.
(3) Read up on and appreciate the art and literature by Indian women
There is a rich heritage of literature in Indian languages and art in its various forms that women have been creating and practising. Indulge in some exploration of their artwork and get to know them on this wonderful occasion. Some contemporary writers like Sudha Murthy and Shashi Deshpande weave relatable and warm stories that help us gain insights into their beautiful minds.
(4) Work together and share chores with your partner/family
Families can come closer and spend some quality time together when they break the routine and do something unusual. This Women’s Day, try to get your family to do some of the chores together. It can turn out to be a fun time!
(5) Identify ONE habit that you will change
You may want to start taking better care of your health or start a new hobby. Find something new that energises you and makes you more creative. You can rope in your close friends on this one and make it a collective effort.
We are an immensely diverse country with a vibrant mix of people. Let us use this day as another opportunity to appreciate each other. Find someone who you think may be different from you and try to get to know him/her a little better.
(7) The celebration starts at home
Homemakers are typically women and their achievements are most easily dismissed or overlooked. Spend some time talking to the women who run your house – mother, grandmother, house help. Ask them about the challenges they overcame and stereotypes they bravely broke. Empathetic listening is the best gift you can give anyone.
(8) Random acts of kindness
There are so many women whom we may see every day but do not interact with – the dhobi, the trash collector, the sweeper, the flower seller, etc. Give them a bar of chocolate or mithai. A simple act of kindness can really put at least two people in a good mood for the day.
(9) Appreciation at work
Come up with an appreciation chain at work wherein all the women are set to receive appreciation. If the culture of the organisation permits, this could be as simple as writing a personalised note for a female colleague or playing a few games at the end of the workday. It is about women appreciating each other and having a good time.
(10) Learning through play
Talking of games, organise some games where the men can join in and learn more about their female colleagues and the challenges they face. Bearing the theme in mind, the games can be centred around #EachforEqual, leading to a workplace that allows for equal respect and opportunities for all. Simple games like guessing games, two truths and a lie, help immensely in team-building and building a culture of acceptance and respect.
This International Women’s Day, let’s understand each others’ lives and realities. Let’s begin with respecting differences and equalising privileges.
Happy #IWD2020 ! Celebrate #EachforEqual