When will men and women be equal?
When will they be at par with men?
When will we have gender parity?
The harsh reality is – never. Not in our lifetime.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 reveals that it may take 99.5 years to attain gender parity. Though we are far from it, we have come closer to 99.5 years from 108 years just a year ago. Can we, all get together and make it happen earlier. Maybe we don’t see the results. Let us gift this to our children and grandchildren.
Isn’t it a shame that we have undermined the power of womanhood, all along, We have failed to give her the due respect and blatantly ignored the value she adds to humanity. This is what I said on Women’s Day 2019 . And I also expressed my feelings on this subject during keynote speech at Women’s Leadership Summit, in Mumbai, in 2019.
I am optimistically looking ahead for a day, though it looks like far when this subject fades away into the desired equality. We need it every day in our homes, offices, and on the road. In fact, everywhere!
I don’t know of any organisation other than The Indian Defence Forces, (The Army in particular, as I have personal experience) taught us (not told us) how and why to respect women. Do you know that a young Captain’s wife is saluted by any senior officer, even if he wears a General’s rank, if in uniform? And if he is in a civil dress, he will suitably greet her. A senior officer opens the door of the car for a lady, even if she is a junior officer’s wife. All ladies, irrespective of their age or husband’s rank, are served food before the senior-most male officer. A young lady once snapped at a senior officer when he stepped forward to open the door of the car, “You don’t have to open the door for me just because I am a lady.” “Well, mam, I did not open the door for you because you are a lady. I opened it because ‘I’ am a gentleman,” was his prompt response.
I strongly feel that as family culture, every mother must teach her son how to respect girls and how to conduct himself rather than keeping the daughter under close supervision and imposing restrictions on her. Every day is a woman’s day and every woman deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. And we need to condition our kids into this mindset right from the beginning.
It is not really a great idea for some women to set out to compare and compete with men. There is no competition out there. Men and women have to co-exist, in perfect harmonies, like a team. A woman-dominated world, which some women activists set out to create one day, will be no better than the so perceived men-dominated world. I leave that to the reader’s judgement.
It is commonly observed that at the workplace women are many times let down by other women. To achieve gender parity sooner it will be good if women start supporting women.
Men and women were created by nature with a specific design, which logically suggests co-existence. They are not interchangeable in may tasks and activities and together they can achieve a lot. Let us all get together and make this world a happy place for all of us.