Sir: International Women’s Day is meant to celebrate the radical history of women fighting back under a brutal capitalist society. It’s a 100-year old celebration that honours working-class immigrant women of colour standing up to collectively counter workplace abuse, state violence, police brutality and all of the oppression that afflicts women at the intersections and margins of society.
Today we observe women as successful journalists, lawyers, pilots, astronauts, police/Armed Forces officers, film personalities, politicians, writers, CEOs and what not. They are competing shoulder-to-shoulder with the men in all areas.
They want to come forward and contribute in building up new and progressive Pakistan. It is need of the hour to encourage their participation in the decision-making at home, in the community and at the national level.
The #MeToo movement against male harassment has empowered women in the US and elsewhere, but it is not the only women’s movement to have an impact over the last year.
In 2012, the UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 was Empower Rural Women — End Hunger and Poverty. In 2013, the UN theme for International Women’s Day was ‘a promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women’.
In 2014, it was ‘Equality for Women is Progress for All’; in 2015, ‘Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!’; in 2016, the theme was “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. And in 2017, “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” was the theme. This year it is “Press for Progress”
Here’s wishing all women a Happy Women’s Day.
ALI SALMAN ANDANI
Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.