Hello the eighth day of March

Hello the eighth day of March,

It was nice to meet you yesterday on the international stage. How busy you were, attending to all those women’s voices! I was glad that the spirit of registering women’s voice for equality is continuing with more strength. What used to be of use to a few and the voice of a few in the past is now a rightful way, a mass strength, a platform, a forum, a space that women can be. I think it is all that and more. Years ago when I marched with the women of rural Karnataka in India to raise awareness on the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) it was a fulfilling feeling. Yet, it felt like another programme meant to reach women of certain classes, castes and women with no or low literacy. On the other hand there were women from the elite part of the society who spoke eloquently. And there were the usual government programmes.

I am amazed now to witness the inclusion and response of women from across different strata of the society, especially the ‘middle class’. Thanks to the social media – college girls, young women professionals, homemakers, artists, writers, teachers, activists and ordinary women, all exchanged “Happy” messages celebrating the Women’s Day. They were acknowledging how girls and women are experiencing discrimination in their everyday life and calling for its end. The “Happy” message is spreading rapidly. Feels so good!

The eighth day of March, I still have the same expectation that I had in the past. As a child, as a young woman and as a grown up adult. I want to see boys and men saying something like this: “I say no to discrimination against women.” Everybody’s family has got grandmothers, mothers, sisters, wives, daughters or female friends and relatives. A father should teach his little boy that everybody in his family is equal; a husband must practise that; a brother needs to happily embrace it; a friend can demonstrate it. The attitude to discriminate against me just because I am female is simply wrong. Let the males of this world not carry the burden any more. Walking together is more joyous than distancing ourselves from one another.

Cheers, Vinathe Sharma

Walking together …

She is not the one.
Donated, gifted, given
and sent away.

She is not the one.
Erased out
of their home,
their memory.

She is not the one.
To become a bowl
in his home, to pick
what they dropped,
living with tears.

She is not the one.
Following Ahalya
and Seetha
as her role models.

She is the one.
Opposed to the male legacy;
Registering her Self.

Brave steps taken,
believing love, confident,
passionate about equality –
she is the one.

She says more –
March forward,
not behind me,
not in the front –
with me;
taking our steps

Vinathe Sharma


2 thoughts on “Hello the eighth day of March

  1. Chris says:

    Thank you Vinathe. A beautiful reminder that yes, we have gone some way as girls and women to demonstrate our dignity as human beings. In fact, I was showing a movie last night at Amnesty International Australia on women and ‘freedom’ in Myanmar. I spoke of Vinathe Sharma’s work on ‘actionable space ‘ …and then I wake up this morning and find your writing here. Thank you, and see you soon!

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