Our society has undoubtedly witnessed multi fold changes over the past couple of decades. As we have been progressing tremendously across all spheres, our advancements have been reaching out to the global platforms. However, despite of this movement forward, it is important not to neglect the glimpses of reality that continue to exist embedded in the grassroots of our society.

As we commemorate International Women’s Day, let’s spare some thought to a snapshot of the reality of the status of women. In today’s times of empowerment, women have undeniably surpassed all heights of milestones and achievements, leaving their mark in areas which were unexplored by women here before. However, there still exist various issues which are deep rooted in our communities, wherein women are not given their due respect and dignity.

Evidence of the same could be easily observed through a glimpse at the prevailing statistics of the rates of female infanticide, inequality, discrimination against a girl child, etc. Further, it is not uncommon in today’s world of equality, as women assume multiple roles at home as well as work, to witness cases of women experiencing the brunt of phenomena like glass ceiling at their workplace. There are many such instances where women’s rights are compromised upon, including instances of abuse or rape, and other forms of violence.

As we are so deeply engrossed in our urban living, we often lose sight of the more undeveloped parts of the country, which may not have changed yet. Maybe people give value to the voices of women and cherish their thoughts and opinions in some segments of the society, in certain areas of work, and this is still changing for the better. But, it is important to think, are these changes pervasive? There is ample evidence to suggest that in large pockets of the nation the regressive patterns of being and believing continue to flourish. We read about it in the papers, hear about it on the news, and witness it in the lives of some of the people we know.

It is important for us to remind ourselves of our responsibility towards not just females, but towards each individual as a respectable member of the society. As we talk about addressing issues related to gender equality, it is also important for us to take a check on our own selves as a responsible unit of the society. It is our own thinking, belief systems and behavioural patterns that integrate to go a long way in influencing the perceptions of the society as a whole.

Despite of the multiple roles taken on by women being appreciated, this does take a huge toll on the health of women, which could be attributed to the expectations demanded from them from various sections of the society. These expectations stem from the insecurities persisting within us. Therefore, it is necessary for us to take an introspective stance, and think about breaking through the stereotypes that have existed across decades in various sections of the society. Unless we do not spread the awareness of being able to identify instances of such injustice and stereotypical thinking patterns, we shall not be able to achieve gender equality in its true sense.