Concerns of a twenty something this International Women’s Day

I am twenty, such a something that I have started calling myself twenty-something. Aging is a universal truth that we witness every day, and even then it is so hard to convince yourself of it. I never considered myself a woman and always wondered as a kid why there was no girls day.

Me with my paintbrush wearing an assignment to create a Tee on women empowerment. 2009, DoD IITGuwahati

Well, time played its cards, and before I could hold my senses, I was busy being an active part of women’s events.

What is Women’s day?

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity (). Women’s day is a big celebration with numerous events, Twitter hashtags, corporate events and the infinite social monologs. As I sunk in a pool of event invites for the celebration of International Women’s day I am wondering what it means to me in 2017 and some around me. A plethora of thoughts that cross my mind as I ponder about it —

Sexual Violence

The world is perpetually turning violent, and violence against women often takes the shape of sexual abuse. I wonder what can I do end this violence, especially sexual. Why physical body shaming and sexual assault, are still considered an epitome of justice, for a woman in so many barbaric minds?

Being Uber-ed

With incidents of sexual abuse in some of the most successful organizations of modern times, I am left to wonder what it means. Is female esteem marked secondary when it comes to advancing businesses and innovation?

Women in Technology

I work in an industry where the term ‘Women in Technology’ is burning. I have met women smart, bright and motivating. They are the stars of the technology, we all take advantage of. I have heard numerous stories of young women working so hard that they don’t retain their identities anymore. Why is a woman not easily found talking about her likes of stilettos in such environments? Why is it necessary to push beyond your limits to prove you are at par with your counterparts of the opposite sex?

Diversity in representation of women

I have many young girls writing to me about personal/career development questions. I try to answer them within my capacities. Often I leave them with the task of finding women leaders in their communities. Because I know I can’t point them to one; and often wonder if they could have found any. We all end up exemplifying Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg, Elizabeth Holmes, Lynda Weinmann or others from the western hemisphere. Women from diverse backgrounds are so mildly represented that it is hard for newcomers to relate to them. How do we fill this gap?

And the issues that haven’t changed forever

Pay gaps, reproductive health, gender wage gaps, trafficking amongst many other would make my list too. I belong to the Eastern culture and have adopted the West recently which also makes me firmly confirm that gender stereotyping and discrimination exist predominantly in both the cultures. There are outliers in both these communities, but both the East and the West have a long way to go when it comes to creating an ideal world for their women.

In Conclusion and a lighter mood

It’s important for a community to dedicate one day to acknowledge the work some wonderful people have been doing to make our world just. While I don’t set my eyes on one day, and work throughout the year participating in various events to contribute to gender parity. Some of my plans for the 2017 International Women’s Day; and some that I have accomplished —

1. Being part of the community

I have been a part of women’s communities in school and my corporate life. Every year I attend conferences/events that support women in technology, underrepresented fields, career, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Some well known in my field are Grace Hopper and Watermark conference. . I meet some very successful ladies, and some newcomers who I am so sure will become big shots.

Seattle Women’s march I witnessed in early 2017

2. Find women mentor and role-models

You can’t run into Condoleeza Rice every other day but she can be your role model every day. I try to read and listen to these great female leaders. It’s a jackpot, when I end up listening to women who come from a similar backgrounds as mine, but I try not to narrow my searches.

3. I work with female leads

I work in a company that has vested its leadership on some great female leaders and everyday I feel they are my voice. I have seen them being excellent at what they do, and I go to work everyday dreaming of becoming like them one day.

4. Did you watch Hidden figures?

I just watched and was out of the movie hall dancing with joy. No spoilers here :) Some movies do a great job of acknowledging some of the fabulous women of our times and portraying women at their best. Watch one this March 8th, if you haven’t any.

5. Donate to a Charity

Having a full-time job often restricts my life to be aware of events but not be a part of ground work. But that also gives me the power of supporting people who are creating direct impact. I would donate to a charity who takes care of one of these women’s issues. If you are an athlete, probably you can dedicate a run.

6. On a lighter note

A) I will tweet the 2017 theme #BeBoldForChange. B) Sharing this blog with my friends so that the issues pass through their mind for at least 4 minutes ( The Medium estimate) C)Email some of the favorite women in my life. D) Continue writing about women’s issues

Why gender parity they ask. I need gender parity because I want none to ask why I need it.

Happy International Women’s Day 2017, everyone.

Dedicating this post to someone who taught me a lot and has a beautiful family, life, and career. My mother whom I alternately call Mommy/Mummy.

My mother in one of her deep conversations