It’s Women’s Day! Which I am sure you must know by now, unless you’ve successfully managed to isolate yourself from hundreds of WA forwards, IG posts, Twitter promotions, and the like. (In which case, what’s your secret? I’d really like to know.) Brands, influencers, workplaces, politicians, friends...you name it, and everyone has a women’s day message going. Most of these messages are trying to answer one question: what do women really want? The problem is, however, their answers are way off. And if you’ve been feeling fatigued at the idea of being given freebies as a way of “women empowerment,” you know it too.
So for this newsletter, I thought it might be fun to put down a list of things women really want, but are nowhere to be found in any of the hundreds of advertising campaigns swirling around 8th March. A caveat, though. This is my list; and by no means an instructional list that you must relate to as well! So, here goes, a list of a few things I wish we really got for Women’s Day, and other days.
Lessons in financial independence: Like ABBA sang, “money, money, money!” Financial independence is the key to greater freedoms for women -- both young and old. If you have your money, you can move out to study, find a job you like, and walk out of a toxic relationship. And that’s what I wish someone had told me when I was 18-years-old! Tips on how to save, invest wisely, and the nuts and bolts of navigating finances.
Equal wages: There is no conceivable reason why in the year of our lord 2021, men and women are not paid equally for the same work...and yet, it’s true. The gender wage gap between men and women in India is 19%, according to 2019 figures. In 2020, we actually slipped to the 112th position from the previous 108th in 2018 on the gender wage gap index!
No shaadi pressure: If young girls and women didn’t have the constant pressure to “settle down,” what could they do with their lives? With the COVID-19 pandemic, young girls are being forced to marry to ease the financial burden of their parents. A new UNICEF report predicts that 10 million more girls will be at the risk of becoming child brides by 2030.
A supportive workplace: Or, even jobs would be great at this point. An Economist report says that only 7% of urban Indian women have paid jobs. Add to this the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace, and good jobs are really on top of most women’s wishlists
Aaand, pockets! Do I need to explain this? In dresses, in kurtas, in jeans, in trousers, in sarees...just give us pockets.
What does your women’s day wish list look like? In fact, I am looking forward to seeing more of your lists in my inbox after this newsletter goes out. Again, hit that “Reply” button. Till then, I hope you’re surrounded by a sisterhood of incredible women. Because after all, women supporting women is what today is all about, right?