No sales. No discounts. Just a l’il bit R E S P E C T

Celebrate Women’s Day in style. 300 per cent off on cosmetics!

This women’s day gift her a kitchen appliance!

Women’s Day special. Gym memberships at 100 per cent off!

It’s on TV, it’s on hoardings, it’s on print ads and it’s on social media.

International Women’s Day has joined the hall of fame of events that generate irritating marketing communication from brands. But what we should really be seeing, if people want to celebrate the day in the true spirit of why Women’s day is celebrated, is ads that say exactly the opposite.

Celebrate Women’s day in style. Free CV writing, interview skills workshop.

This women’s day surprise her! Come and learn how to make roti for your working wife.

Women’s day special! We’re hiring women today!

Women’s day specials on television should be about women achievers and no Bollywood actresses should really be a part of it because if you’re contributing to strengthening a stereotype, you’re against the very concept of what Women’s Day stands for.

We still tell women they can’t wear what they want, we still console someone when they say they have two daughters and we still look at a divorced/unmarried woman as an abla nari. Women’s Day is when people must pledge to change these attitudes.

Women of all ages, sizes, shapes and ethnicities are insecure in their surroundings (go read the newspaper if you can’t believe that) True, more and more women are topping their colleges and schools in academics, but, post marriage and kids, most of these women  are dropping out of the workforce.

This day should be used as a day people promise better support at work and at home for women who have the talent and ability but are forced by circumstances to sit it out. Women’s Day should see corporates gifting their employees better childcare or flexihours. It should be the day companies announce paternity leaves for the men in their organization. It aligns better with the spirit of the day than a single rose and a Cadbury dairy milk.

I am one of two daughters. It isn’t funny how many times well-educated, so-called elites of the society turn around and ask me, ‘You have no brother?’ with absolutely no subtlety. I respond with a ‘thank God’. But my maid servant who is a school dropout, is thrilled to have two daughters.

Women’s day is celebrating that thought. It is about accepting that women do not need men by their side to survive through life. Every Princess can fight without a Prince by her side. (And if I may say so, often it is the Princess who rescues the prince.)

I am a daughter to my parents and both me and my sister fulfill our duties the way any child, gender no bar, should. So when overly emotional aunties say, ‘You are like their son,’ I say no, I am their daughter.

That, my friend, is International Women’s Day.



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