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Always a Woman

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By Pooja Marwah

I have always claimed that a personal face to face conversation tells you more about the person than the actual content that comes out of their mouth. And this statement further re-instilled an inch deeper into my mind post a recent panel discussion on the world’s most trending topic – Women Empowerment!

At the onset, why are we fighting for women empowerment? It is something we already are. All we need is to sit back and wait for the world to realise it. And by sit back I don’t mean get complacent; I mean continue doing what we are in the first place! There is no fight here, really.

Women Empowerment – One of PM Modi’s Paanch Pran;

Women Empowerment – One or more sessions in every panel discussion held;

Women Empowerment – Hashtag, Trending, Viral.

It is everywhere where there is media, publicity and fame. But actual empowerment begins in our homes. It begins with the older women in the houses who pass on traditions, cultures and beliefs to the daughters/daughters-in-law. It begins at school, wherein the onus lies on the teachers to teach equality between man and woman, not one-upmanship! Thereafter, it seeps into our minds through what we see, hear or perceive.

You can never be truly empowered if you have disempowered another to get there. Sooner or later, you are bound to feel the strain and the pressure it will exude. Empowering women is not a journey about standing on top of the world and saying, “I did it.” It’s a path each of us walks on to find ourselves, to find our inner voice and strength. There is no one outside of our flesh and bone that is going to provide us with a sudden innate boost of energy.  It’s a choice we have to have the courage to make… Ourselves!

Men never found the need to make empowerment a prestige issue, did they? From the stone-age era, it was clearly evident that the man hunted and brought the meat home and the woman and he cooked together. Take for instance CNN’s most interesting tribe of the world – The Himbas – from northwest Namibia. I watched a documentary on them recently, which showed them as a very close knit yet independent tribe. Herein, it was the women of the tribe who worked and managed the home affairs. The men, as it was mentioned, ‘walked behind the cattle as they went out to graze’! Need I say more?

Yes, in a country as culturally diverse as our India, I think it is vital to teach women the reason to empower themselves. They need to recognise their “WHY” in life and only then will they understand the need why it is not okay to be treated as a lesser human being just because ‘she was born a woman’. From time immemorial, women were treated as an object of desire. Be it in the field of art, or behind closed doors.

Men and women are people at the end of the day. Some people help you rise and others pull you down. It is not a gender bias. So, if you look at even partially disempowering men thinking that you can achieve your feministic empowerment, you’ve lost the race at the start line!

“Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?” I quote Paulo Coelho from his outstanding book – Eleven Minutes!

To have courage to say YES to life, that is women empowerment at its peak.

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)