A toast in appreciation of women’s world celebration! | Daily News

A toast in appreciation of women’s world celebration!

On Friday March 8, we celebrated a global event lauding a segment of society who gave birth to us, nurtured us and who looked out for us even when we had reached adulthood. I am talking about a very special day for all women in the whole wide world, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or socioeconomic status.

The International Women's Day 2019 campaign theme of ‘Balance for Better’ is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. The day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

All this excitement should get everyone out there thinking: Why aren't women celebrated in this manner every day? Let's make International Women's Day, IWD, an everyday event. Surely, women deserve to be celebrated every day. I personally believe it’s time to shrug off the mantle of gender and give the women of the world hope that they are not alone in their battle for equality.

The day brings together global governments, women's organisations, businesses and charities together under its banner and will be marked with talks, performances, rallies, networking events, fashion parades, theatrical performances and more. Even Google usually does its bit by doing a ‘Google Doodle.’

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is ‘Press for Progress.’ Indeed, a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and offer support.

In 1975, March 8 was announced as the official date for IWD by the United Nations. It first started as a political and socialist movement in 1909 in four European countries. It soon spread with a determined screech and began reaching out to be celebrated in other parts of the globe in different ways.

It is a day to commemorate the achievements of women and to raise awareness for the social and political equality of women around the world. It aims to highlight the importance of creating conditions for the elimination of discrimination against women and for their full and equal participation in social development.

The day is also a time to reflect on progress made, to call for further change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

Surely, it is right and just that the world recognises the achievements of women regardless of national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions. Its objectives must include promoting gender relations, gender equality, celebrating and encouraging positive female role models which in turn will inspire the younger feminist generation.

South Asia comprises eight nations – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – and is bursting with various aspects of culture. However it is worth noting that almost half of the female population, experiences rampant gender based violence and discrimination in the areas of education, nutrition, health and employment, curtailing their human rights, disrupting gender equality and their general well being.

This year, IWD comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women have captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.

Yet, all over the world the turnaround in some cases of women’s success stories is causing turned heads, raised eyebrows, and some rifts in what is still seen as a male dominated society. But, thanks to the precedents set by courageous and resourceful women front-runners who have wielded remarkable influence, others of their gender have and are being encouraged to step up and take leadership roles as businesswomen, heads of financial firms, teachers, scholars and writers.

The remarkable aspect to all this is that the relatively new-found inspiration seems contagious. It is not at all surprising that the trend has caught on in many parts of Asia. And who can forget Sri Lanka, the little nation that gave the world its first woman prime minister. Look around you and there is no gainsaying the fact that local women are starting businesses at a record pace, rising to key leadership positions, and helping communities flourish across the nation.

Today, they continue to inspire women in every strata of society to reach their fullest potential. In essence, they have challenged the way men and women think about business, education, politics and life in general. In Sri Lanka both through traditional roles as mothers and wives and as professionals, businesswomen, financial leaders, media personnel and teachers, women have made great strides to hold their own in a male-dominated world.

There was a time, not too long ago, when it would have seemed unimaginable for a woman to have broken through the highest, hardest glass ceiling. The connotation refers to occupying the ‘corner office’ or the executive suite. At present, thanks to the achievements of several trail-blazing icons to inspire them many women have blended into the professional and personal sphere with less conflict than they ever encountered before.

Things certainly seem to be looking up for women in corporate Sri Lanka. Yes, and times certainly appear to be changing in our conservative little world of business enterprise. One of the more significant among them is the empowerment of women in all spheres of trade, finance and industry.

In corporate Sri Lanka a good many women professionals have shattered the gender stereotype and climbed to the highest rung of the hierarchal or rather matriarchal ladder. Indeed, a handful of remarkable personalities have created history by heading some of the country’s most elite institutions.

In the present day world relationships have become very important as the level of insecurity is just augmenting every day. The woman, in your life, plays a very important supportive and encouraging role. She is the sole inspiration factor for you. So, it is essentially important to have the best wife, girlfriend gift ideas to help you reiterate the fact that you love her the most.

In truth, it has been their fortitude, vision and pluck that have carried them to the very zenith of their careers. They have done so with admirable determination displaying those rare attributes of courage, resilience and endurance. And all the more credit to them because they have achieved their ambitions despite the entrenched gender bias that pervades our culture.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events through supporting external ones. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. Certainly it is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realise their full potential. So let’s all make a difference, think globally and act locally! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for the fair sex is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

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