Letter To Editor | On International Women’s Day, Truth be Told

THIS day marks the international women's day. That day celebrates the achievements of women in different areas of life. These achievements include the social, political, economic and cultural contributions across the globe. That day recognises the struggle of women against gender disparity and fight for equality in our socio political world order. People across the globe come out in support of the women and recognise their contributions, struggle and rally with the women promising to fight along them to break the unjust shackles and stereotypes.

This day has a historical significance dating back 28 Feb 1909 when more than 15000 women marched through the streets of New York demanding better pay, voting rights and shorter working days. The idea to organise rally was suggested by the Theresa Melkiel who was a labour activist with the help of Sociolist Party of America. It was followed with an international conference for working women and during that conference women activists proposed an annual commemoration of women’s day. Germany took the inspiration and proposed to celebrate international women’s day. The day was first observed by Austria , Denmark, and Switzerland in 1911 on March 19th. Russia joined in to celebrate the day on the last Sunday of February. The later moved on to mark the national holiday in many countries. United Nations adopted international women’s day in 1975 and later on added yearly themes to it since 1996.

In today’s world it has become a global event and celebrated across all countries with rallies, events, activities and much more. In Kashmir the event doesn’t carry much significance other than highlighting the plight of women who are the victims of conflict. There are few posts on social media and the rest of the day goes unheard as usual. If this is any indication of success against women, the patriarchal lords of our society should celebrate that. The feministic approaches or the challenges patriarchy is facing world over is not happening in Kashmir. The masculine monopoly continues and goes unchallenged as always except for some essays or posts in social media. There is neither debate nor gross root campaign to break the shackles leading to the destruction of patriarchal social order. I have always tried to call out the ugly side of our society without even caring for the costs and consequences.

While the world is celebrating the success and struggle of women we should mourn the dehumanisation and indignity women in our part are subjected to. In last few months we have had two acid attacks, many incidents of domestic abuse leading to murders. Patriarchal oppression has plagued our social system for long now. I am only witnessing strengthening of the male dominance instead of houn for any course correction. The derivations to justify the unjust malady is from the conflict and misinterpretation of religion. They are public narratives that are only furthering the restrictions on women.

The masses are not to be blamed for the oppression rather the intellectuals, academics and religious scholars have been the epitome of this darkness. The sane voices who should have come forward to change the tide are sailing with it.

Marriage all over the world is seen as an essential bond of love and affection but in our part of the world it is seen as the surrender and sacrifice of the women to the whims and wishes of men. There is an indoctrination where women have to live not for self but for the pleasures of men.

This hegemonic gendered order has given birth to the countless atrocities unleashed on women. It has shrunk the space for them. Anybody trying to overcome the monstrosity faces new challenges and othering. The public places are not safe for them. The educational institutions, public transport and market places are hotbeds to target the women coming out for a prosperous future. Nobody shares the blame except the women who are at the receiving end.

The women give up and bow to the dictation. This brutal patriarchal social structure has left an undying imprint on my mind. Sometimes I restrain myself to say anything but there is a limit to everything. I can’t be silent while monstrosity is only spreading its roots. Those silent today will repent someday. The acid attack victims and the females murdered at their in-laws are on my mind while I am writing this. The only tribute to them would be the honest presentation of what happened to them. Let’s not sugar-coat the bitter truth to hide the elephant in our room.

Kabir Writes 

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