Updated: Nov 19, 2020
All over the world the international women’s day is celebrated with different attitudes, styles, and enthusiasm on the 8th of March. This year it’s coming on Sunday so there will be more participation. In some countries, even the women along with the whole of the civil society are unaware of this day. For them, it’s just any other regular day of their lives. Not considering the importance of this day and the celebratory impressions it may cause in the minds of the generations to come.
It reminded me of the suffragette’s movement, which gained momentum in 1903 and then got the voting rights for the women in around 1918. Back then, women have no rights over the kids; they have to follow their husbands or be in their fathers’ guardianship. The impact was the worse in low-income families, where women have to work and should still remain obedient to their husbands and ironically should not complain about the sexual-advances of other men around them.
The law and society at large were not on their side. In the movie suffragette (2015), one of the famous suffragettes, when tried to share her thoughts and concern with her husband, was told to accept the fate of women. Later, when she participated in the movement, her husband tried to stop her by all means, even giving away her only son for adoption making poverty as an excuse, because he wanted to show that it was his right to do so by law. The police had arrested them for spreading violence and unrest. The men, who were backing them, never felt so helpless during that era.
The suffragette slowly and eventually won the attention of the public and ultimately women got the right to vote, right on their children, right to ask for a divorce and so on.
Now almost from all walks of life, one will see women participating and conjuring their powers and rights and taking responsibilities. The lives of them are now more comfortable and equal. Nevertheless, the pay in some sectors is still not equal to that of men.
Ex-prime minister of Britain David Cameron had tried to reduce the gender pay gap for women in all sectors of work by asking the companies to publish their payrolls for all gender if they have more than 250 employees.
In Hollywood, the pay gap is very huge sometimes. Some celebrities, like Patricia Arquette - boyhood actress (2014 best supporting actress), raised their voices at Oscar's speeches and talked about equal pay. The world was appalled to know that for the movie “All the money in the world” Michelle Williams made headlines when she was paid just $80 per day for reshoots as compared to Mark Wahlberg who was paid 1.5 million dollars.
In the developing world, women got the right to vote only because it has already happened in the developed world. It is indeed a miracle in that part of the world, which our counterparts didn’t have till the mid of the 20th century.
The scarcity of awareness among women in developing world about their wellbeing, despite a “right to vote” (in countries where they can vote), may, at least partially, be attributed to the patriarchal status of the societies in one way or the other, and women remained the victims of the system.
The women in such countries have lots of dilemmas to face, for example, they have to be beautiful to get a proper spouse. If they are intelligent, they may be labeled as bossy. There are stealthy ways in which society is marking them worthless. If they happen not to be able to procreate, the attitude of people towards them is totally awkward, bizarre and sometimes violent.
All these practices are sometimes against the laws of a country, but people (especially men) force them by certain pseudo and persistence moral policing. Those people are supported covertly by governments, organizations, social mafia, or most of the time by the civil society itself.
To have control in one’s hand is a larger issue in such kind of societies, where control of the fair sex is preached like a religion. The story is repeated in every house, village, city, and province. In such patriarchal societies, everything revolves around control, power, and male-controlled ways of life. Ironically, in some so-called “liberal” societies in the third world, if all fails, they start using the benevolent sexism, in which women are portrayed as larger than life characters. They are started to treat their women in a separate way because, to them, women's needs are special and they are physically weak. Unluckily, women too agree with them and sometimes ask for such separate and divisible treatment. For a while everything starting to shape-up, there seems a down-fall of crimes against women, there are even no sexual-harassment, etc. The sudden segregating of the women started bearing fruits. Women raised in such societies are actually the “forbidden fruits” and their men are their sole protectors. There is no concept of mixing of gender. From outside, it is felt that women are better off in such a way; there are near to nil divorces, no sexual-harassment, and no rapes and even there is no resistance in the societies.
I will try to explain it a little by going through the movie Mona Lisa smile (2005). There is a character, played by Kristen Dustan (student) was at odds with Julia Roberts’ (teacher) progressive ways. She realized, after getting married at an early age that her teacher (Julia Roberts) was right and her mum and her husband just want to control her life. She eventually found a way out. In developing countries and in certain communities in the developed world, it’s not that easy or even impossible to achieve.
I have found an interesting data suggesting the 10 most dangerous countries for women in the world. I wanted to enlist them here just for your eyes:
Democratic Republic of Congo
The United States is the only western and developed country in this list only because of #Metoomovemen and Times-up campaigns, and the US is the latest and fresh entry to this list. In these countries, the data has taken by considering women’s health, socioeconomic status, sexual-harassment, violence against women, and rape.
Many women in the developed world and particularly from these countries face lots of challenges, in getting ahead in their lives. Sometimes they have to pay with their lives. Other times, they give up and live just to survive day by day.
Hillary Clinton, when she was the secretary of states, raised the issue of one controversial law about the Tribal and federal Act continuing the tradition of inadequate protection to Tribal Indian and Alaskan native rape victims.
In countries mentioned above, women are their convenient targets; they don’t hesitate to throw acids on them in order to fulfill their egos, enact criminal minds, and their way of lifestyles. The appalling thing is the attitude of people at large who are taking the sides of the attackers; sometimes become the supporters of the attackers
Many people silently kill their daughters, mothers, and blood-relatives in order to fulfill the customs of society. Due to international pressure, even if they get to the perpetrators, they do support them in their own subtle ways. These horrid practices and different domestic laws put a huge toll on girls raised in those cultures and countries. The psychologies of the girls developed into a defensive nature. They too mostly side with the cultural practices. The science of Psychology explains it very well, when the victims take the perpetrator's sides, as it will be in the best of their interest or they can’t go against their families.
Many movies had been made on such issues and many more will be made, but the explanation remains that the societies, countries, and communities which intentionally or unintentionally disrespect their women will always remain restless, barbaric and uncivilized. Their water reservoirs will dry-up, the population will explode (most of them unwanted), and society will eventually and then drastically will go down the hill. Their languages will disappear and they will only be left with dismay and resentment in their hearts. If they don’t accept the progressive changes, one day even their race will disappear.
The practices of their primitive minds led them to this chaos in which they are today. The countries that are developed but have played a role in sustaining such culture, like using their patriarchal to their advantages, will also not be spared.
The refugee crises, overpopulation, water shortages, global warming, and climate changes are not intensified just because people were not doing enough in the past. They are happening because people in power let it happen. They were getting cheap goods, labor, even escorts. Nobody bothered because this is not their country and this is not their problem. In a sense this is right though, this is an alien problem, but then why bother when there is no real democracy in such countries, why worry when polio can’t be eradicated from there?
Happy women’s day 2020, I would like to know from all those women who are reading my articles as to what are your views on these.