Pic: Art 'Delhi Gang Rape A Tragedy' by Tanmay Singh, Faridabad]

Today on 8th of March, we celebrate the International Women’s Day and it means a lot for us in our country. While the world today celebrates the uniqueness, beauty and purity of women, here in our country, it reminds us that we are still a long way to free our women of the oppression and discrimination. While others celebrate the strength, independence and liberty of a mother, a sister, a daughter and a wife, we remind ourselves of how they still shed tears for various reasons in our country.

Do we really need a Women’s Day? Yes, we do. In fact, we need more of such days. We need to remind ourselves more often that we have no space left to stoop down any further. We need to remind ourselves that we are now done with the women getting raped and molested – women of all ages, sometimes by a juvenile, some other times by a group and sometimes again by a very “normal” person. I read news almost everyday and I know exactly why we need to celebrate Women’s Day just more than once. I have read news about children starting right from the age of 8 months getting raped. You think of a number in months or in years and you have a rape survivor of that age. I read about a father raping his daughter, a priest raping a woman, an uncle raping her niece and just to say that for all the heaven’s sake we are standing beyond that line of sanctity.

We appreciate the strength of women today. What kind of strength do we talk about? The strength of carrying on a life with a sewing machine they gift you after getting raped? We are a fantastic country and the most amazing thing about our country is that it has a rape capital – Something to be very proud about. Our streets are more filled with eve teasers than stray dogs. People at other countries show their pain of rejection in a way that is too old school – they write music, poetry and stuffs. Well, we have our own different way. We throw acids. So much for our love of chemistry, or maybe its because we have a very efficient market to provide us with easy and cheap access to acids. And what we do with the woman who gets her body burnt to the same acid? We take out candle rallies in her support. We make her the symbol of strength. Can we give her back a normal life? No. Are we adequate enough to provide her with proper justice? No.

We indeed need Women’s Day because we need feminism to fight for equality; we still need to remind our sons to act responsibly. We have restrictions on our daughters going outside, their going around late at night, their choice of clothes and to say it specifically, we have a problem with their survival altogether. Today, we remind ourselves of the police stations that would suggest you to take back your complaint of rape or molestation for your own good. We realise the amount of pain and fear you face when you think about getting justice through the long harassing procedures of court. Today we ask the society about the way it looks at the women who are fighting against the trauma of rape or abuse. We take note of how women are abused and subjected to harassment over the social media sites, which they choose to flatly ignore because it’s India and “it is normal here”. We learn about how we are still a long way to completely do away with women trafficking and we are still going to be a reason behind the tears of all the women forced into prostitution.

So let us celebrate Women’s Day one more time today. Let us appreciate all the women who are paving way to a new era of gender equality, every single woman who finds her way to success despite of all the adversities. We celebrate each and every woman who is standing up – for knowledge, education, rights and equality and blocking the way to the repercussions of our actions. Let us celebrate them more than just one day, let us celebrate them everyday. Let it not be like every other year where the rallies of Women’s Day are followed by the same scream of terror and pain. By the story of another girl who gets tortured by her in laws for dowry. By the story of another girl who if forced to marry at a very young age and spends her entire life in confinement making the chullah burn. Let us not have another Nirbhaya and let us not be so tolerant to take half measures when it comes to punishment for rapes. Let us not be a social burden, a reason why a woman should not feel protected.

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