Women as social change agents

Women as social change agents

On the run up to the International Women’s Day , few days prior to March 8, news papers and the electronic media start flashing articles reporting statistics on indices representing women – their stature, position followed by interesting analytics – % of women reaching corporate board rooms, women representation in political parties, women members in research institutes , women entrepreneurs , women in civil services, in the medical
profession, as start up founders and the list goes on and on…. All these are backed by interviews of leading women celebrities and corporate honchos. A local FM Channel earmarked the entire month of March as Women’s Month. So much to say .. so much to inform ….

To support them, the ‘men tribe’ miss no opportunity to ride the band wagon – CHROs report employment diversity, the services portray rise in women officers – areas where women talent has replaced predominance of men are highlighted etc. This surely sets stage to dawn of 8th March. This year too was no exception. The Social Media has commenced its teasers and quotes on International Women’s Day since dusk set at Down Under (Australia) on March 7, 2020 and dusk reciprocated in India today morning – March 8

Time is opportune to recognise “Women as Social change agents”. The role of a home maker is no less compared to desk work or office duties. Women has structurally (anatomically) being stronger than men while seemingly being emotionally weak. Irrespective, they have superiorly performed as compared to men while facing tough situations.

“Pretty much at every age, women seem to survive better than men,” opines Steven Austad, (expert on ageing). Also , it has been a known fact that women outlive men by around five or six years. In most species on the planet – from insects to frogs to oysters – it’s the norm that females are larger than males, because they are tasked with reproduction responsibilities. While physical differences between the genders have been narrowing – women are catching up to men in some athletic endeavors, especially ultraevents – there are still basic differences, evolved over millennia.

March 8, Women’s Day celebrations seems to be an event day only for women at workplace and at times gets undermined in day when it’s a holiday – like this time being SUNDAY.

Deviating from office celebrations it may be worthwhile to ponder over few noteworthy names which saw place in 2020 Awards by the Hon. President of India . While I do not intend to undermine other recipients for their contribution and their work , I have focused only on social change agents and tried to portray the most difficult of all – social change which is in the need and needs to change form the heart. Its not taught, its not propagated it evolves within oneself.

Of the few Padma Bhushan awardees of 2020 – Ms. Krishnammal Jagannathan’s (Tamil Nadu) work includes upliftment of the landless, and the poor. She has fought against governments and industrial lobbies as an activist for justice and fairness.

Some Padma Shree (2020) awardees – Ms. Usha Chaumar’s (Rajasthan) transition from manual scavenging (as a child of seven) to being associated with alternative employment providing dignity is thanks to Nai Disha (an NGO). This gave her not only economic independence but also human dignity.

Ms. Tulasi Gowda’s (Uttara Kannada) is a mobile botanist . Planting trees and caring for them – Self styled crusader of afforestation programme

Ms.Rahibai Soma Popere’s (Maharashtra) a farmer and conservationist working closely with self help groups for conserving ingenious farmland, growing diverse crops for self sustenance of respective family

Ms. Trinity Saioo (Meghalaya) has developed sustainable organic farming for rural women and trained around 800 women to grow the purest and most potent form of turmeric.

All being glaring examples of social change. Not to undermine contributors in art , literature, medicine, culture and sports. The other women awardees being Mary Kom, P. V. Sindhu, Oinam Bembem Devi, Rani Rampal, Kangana Ranaut, Ekta Kapoor, Meenakshi Jain, Indira P. P. Bora and others. Their individual achievements are surely noteworthy and worth recognition and applause.

Today let’s celebrate the Caring and Giving trait in Women

Born a daughter, doubling up assisting the parent to serve and care for siblings; women are transformed at early age in their life cycle to imbibe responsibilities and duties.

Instinctively, a Social reformer and activist is born – starts early in life when they propagate basic hygiene practices like brush ones teeth after every meal, washing hands, greeting and respecting elders, be kind to all and help others and so on and so forth. These attributes in today’s busy life is of great value and is fast diminishing.

I am not at all hinting at or aiming to cast aspirations on present women – mothers, daughters and sisters drifting away from the above, I am only making a limited point that the recipients probably are not valuing this as much or more as before.

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher

While ESG, a generic term in prevalence amongst investors for evaluating corporate behavior and determine the future financial performance of corporates, its time that we adopt it in other areas as well as it stands relevance for the micro situation in each of our families as well. With changing environmental landscape, social position of Women needs to be respected and that reinstates the governance part as well.

The future financial independence of the Women needs to be protected and it is the joint responsibility of all in the family to ensure that documents are in place to secure any uneventful future happening by doing all deeds and acts required to be done today.

A homegrown CEO would navigate the family life with ease against all odds, challenging typhoon or tsunami as they come and perform to the best of their ability.

Empower Women and make them feel safe and secure. While financial adequacy provides them much needed comfort, its time Women think of considering familiarizing themselves with what future beholds especially in a rapid changing environment where stringent statutes are expected over time. The “Jugaad” regime is no longer valid. It needs to be in black and white and all well documented.

“ Life is a theatre in which the worst people often have the best seats”

Having mentioned the above, it is imperative that Women’s Day need to be seen in much larger canvas and the pledge of “Handhold each woman” in your family , to begin with. This over time will ensure massive social change around you.

Wishing all WOMEN, a very rewarding International Women’s Day 2020.

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