Wednesday, March 14, 2018

International Women's Day, March 8, 2018

We had started celebrating March 8th. International Women's day, since last year. It was great fun. So, this year, some of us decided to have a celebration, and start planning early. There floated many ideas for entertainment, food etc. Location was to be on the terrace. 
What i liked best about this year's party was that, those who wanted to take up responsibility for arrangements, came forward and put their hands up for different jobs to be done. There was no delegating, asking or requesting people to attend the meetings, and who would do what! One lady took responsibility for arranging the games (2 nos.), another lady for the decorations, yet another was willing to collect the money from the attendees and keep the accounts, One more decided to take care of the lighting, furniture etc. One of the residents is a great dancer, who was willing to teach others, if any are interested, to put up a performance; since no one was ready, she did a solo. 
In the preceding week I was conversing with a few women, and it struck me that I have a few ideas to share. I offered to do a short talk on the subject of women. 
The theme for the party was 'Retro'. Hmmmm.
Boy, did we get busy trying to interpret it and reinterpret? Which look to affect, did we have the clothes and accessories? how do we look in it? questions galore...
However we turned out, one thing I knew was that it would be a blast! we would have fun dressing up and laughing at each other's get-ups. It was a blast!


All the ladies discharged their responsibilities with precision, on time and excellently. Great retro music, great ambience, lively ladies, and a great time was had by all.
Here is the verbatim of my speech:

International Women's Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women's achievements. The theme for 2018 International Women’s Day, is, “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.
On this International women’s day, I want to share a few points that are close to my heart:
1.     Celebrate:
We may be young or old, fat or thin, fair or dark, educated or not, employed or unemployed, rich or poor. But one thing is common to us all. We are all beautiful. Each woman is unique and special. Celebrate that beauty. Celebrate that uniqueness. Being born a woman is a cause for celebration. Celebrate because, this is the only life we have. It is now or never. Donot put off enjoying life today, tomorrow and the day after. Make a list of all your wants and desires and start fulfilling them. Do you agree with me?
2.     Exposure:
Are we getting enough exposure to different peoples, different cultures, and different ways of living? Are we broadening our horizons? Or are we living in our own small worlds, like frogs in a well? If not, the time is now, because, Exposure gives experience; and Experience builds confidence.
Women, we need to be more confident!
3.     Autonomy:
Autonomy is the ability to make decisions about one's own life. How many of us women have autonomy in all the aspects of our lives?
·        Do we have the right over our bodies or is someone dictating who we should marry, how many children to have, how we should look and how we should dress?
·        Do we have the right to the kind of education we want?
·        Do we have the right to a career of our choice? Or who is deciding whether we should work or not?
·        Are we having a right over our money and financial assets? Is someone else making the decisions on money for us? Financial independence is the most important aspect of women’s empowerment.

4.     Sharing:
Share, share, share. I cannot stress the importance of sharing enough.
As women, we need to share our lives with each other. Share your thoughts, share your feelings, share your joys, share your successes, and share your troubles. There is no shame in sharing your ups and downs in life. They say, Happiness gets doubled by sharing, and troubles get halved...
Here is a forwarded message I received several years ago via email. It is about the importance of being connected to other women. I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you all today:  
It is about sisters....
“A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day,  
drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother. As
they  talked about life, about marriage, about the
responsibilities  of life and the obligations of      
adulthood,  the mother clinked the ice cubes in her        
glass  thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance        
upon  her daughter        
'Don't  forget your Sisters,' she advised, swirling        
the  tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll        
be more important as you get older. No matter how        
much you love your husband, no matter how much you        
love the children you may have, you are still going        
to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now       
and then; do things with them.'
'Remember that 'Sisters' mean ALL the women...        
your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other        
women relatives too. 'You'll need other women. Women        
always do.'     
What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman        
thought.  Haven't I just gotten married?        
Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a        
married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely        
my husband and the family we may start, will be all I        
need to make my life worthwhile!'   
But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact        
with her Sisters and made more women friends each        
year. As the years tumbled by, one after another,
she gradually came to understand that her Mom really        
knew what she was talking about. As time and nature        
work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman,        
Sisters are the mainstays of her life.    
After more than 50 years of living in this world,        
here is what she had learned:  
She says,       
“Time passes.   
Life happens.
Distance separates.        
Children grow up.       
Jobs come and go.        
Love waxes and wanes.        
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.        
Parents die.        
Colleagues forget favours.        
Careers end.  
 Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how        
 many miles are between you.

A girl friend is never farther away than needing her, can reach.       
When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you        
have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on        
your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the        
valley's end.     
Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk        
beside you...Or come in and carry you out.     
Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters,        
daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers,        
Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended        
family, all bless our life!      
The world wouldn't be the same without women, and        
neither would I. When we began this adventure called        
womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or        
sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we        
would need each other.” End of the forwarded mail.
Finally, let us do our bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding. It is our responsibility to pass on the lessons learnt in our lives to the next generation of young women; lessons on - health, men, relationships, work, career, money etc.
Let’s also teach the girls and young women, how to live a life of dignity, how to hold our heads high, how to command respect, how to succeed, and most importantly how to fight back, and how to stand our ground.
All you wonderful women assembled here,
You light up the world.
Keep it going ladies, bright, radiant and shimmering!
Have a great International women’s day!

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