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Is Women’s Day Still Relevant? Gen Z Speaks Out: - GetBengal story

8 March, 2024 17:15:16
Is Women’s Day Still Relevant?  Gen Z Speaks Out: - GetBengal story

The burning question: Is Women’s Day relevant for the younger generations? 

Its relevance depends on individual perspectives. While not everyone may find Women’s Day personally relevant, the celebration and empowerment of women remain steadfast ideals. Here, we provide a brief overview of how women in Bengal have been celebrated for centuries, with Bengal serving as a stronghold of women empowerment even during colonial times. We also explore the views of the new generation in Bengal and India on Women’s Day.

Amidst the celebrations of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, it is imperative to reflect upon the historical treatment of our women, which shaped our current perspectives. Change is evident in how women have been perceived through generations. While it is impossible to encompass all time periods and every Indian state, we can delve into the treatment of women in Bengal during British rule, offering insights into the modern student's perspective on Women’s Day. 

Women, over decades, actively engaged themselves in social and nationalist movements. The past profoundly influenced the present and shaped the future. Bengal's history, along with the rest of India, continues to influence contemporary perceptions of women, especially on Women’s Day. 

The current generation, particularly Gen Z, interprets this day uniquely, reflecting on the legacy of men and women who fought for women’s rights.

Riddhima Sen; Jadavpur University
“Women’s day does not hold much significance to me. In my opinion, there shouldn’t be just one particular day to celebrate the power of women. If a woman was treated fairly everyday, then there would not be a need to create a particular day to celebrate women. It should be noted that women’s day is celebrated for one day, a single day of importance and then things go back to how they were, full of prejudices.”

Mrittika Banerjee; St. Xavier’s University
“I live in a nuclear family, both my parents are working and I have observed my mother receiving gifts from her company on Women’s Day. I wish my mother and for me the celebration ends there. I am now also considered a woman because I am in my teenage years, yet I have not felt appreciated by the people around me. I have not been celebrated but it doesn’t change the way I make an attempt to celebrate myself in my own ways. I celebrate myself every day and the women around me and while I feel that Women’s Day is not needed in a patriarchal society since it does not bring about drastic change, I also deem it important for people to celebrate women for their hard work.”

Ansh Dhotre;Ramnarayan Ruia College of Arts & Science, Mumbai
“It is very important for Women’s Day to be celebrated since it is a time of celebration for the women who stay home for their contributions and hard work. Household chores are divided equally among the family members and women are treated fairly and participate equally in decision-making processes. We say that we must pray to God everyday but no one remembers them until festivals arrive. The same logic applies to the celebration of women.”

Krishna Jupudy; Christ University
“This is a day when we take a moment to thank our women. Since we are born from women, we must celebrate them. In terms of restrictions, if society imposes any, it should be the same for men and women. Women should be celebrated everyday but men need to be reminded how important women are in their lives.”

Medha Ganguly; St. Xavier’s University
“If men and women have really reached equality, why is Women’s Day even celebrated? Why don’t we have men’s studies? Why only women’s studies? Many men in India do not view women to be human beings and view them as objects to be undressed mentally and physically. Today, Women’s Day has become a matter of likes and comments on social media. It has deviated from its original meaning to empower women and celebrate their feminine power. My mother has always been financially independent but she has seen the way women are treated on her father’s side and the way they are demeaned in subtle ways. My mother has fought for her independence. No culture should disrespect their women in any way.”

Astik Saxena; Ganpat University, Uttar Pradesh
“I have observed how women in my state are devalued at times. They are not allowed to go out on their own and interrogated over every single thing they wish to do. My family does not differentiate based on gender and my sister has as much freedom as me. Women’s day is important to many. Women’s day is critical for bringing about change and changing people’s mindsets but we still have a long way to go.”

From these interviews with a number of students across India, it is evident that the younger generation has mixed views regarding Women’s day. Some consider it redundant, a gimmick on social media sites for large corporations trying to sell their products and some think it holds significance, a revered day that celebrates the power and importance of women in our society. What do you think about Women’s Day? Is it still relevant? 

( Interviews taken by Srijita Dutta)

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