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According to the world sex ratio by the WHO, we have 100 females for every 105 males. In spite of making up for almost half of the population of the world, the contribution of women is disturbingly low on platforms where it matters. Cultural and societal restrictions, health limitations and lack of education are just some of the factors that can be blamed for such a skewed scenario. Thankfully in the last few years, there has been a considerable increase in the percentage of women in workplaces and even in many career choices which were considered off-limits for women. But the change has neither been easy nor enough. The gender bias is omnipresent and surfaces in ugly forms. The #MeToo campaign was just one example of how nasty it can get for women in a male-dominated workplace.
International Women’s Day 2019 is themed around creating a better working world by including more and more women in workplaces and everywhere else where it counts. It calls for their voices to be heard and their opinions to be taken seriously. The absence of balance will not only hurt women, but it will have grave repercussions for present and future communities and economies. Businesses cannot ignore a competent segment of the workforce only because they belong to a certain gender. Gender balance is no longer an option. It is and has to be taken into account as one of the most essential ingredients of a better and balanced future.
The responsibility of creating gender balance is not limited to feminist communities or governments or social groups. Future belongs to all of us and hence the responsibility also lies with each of one us. Starting from homes that create a dependable support system to workplaces that understand specific challenges of their women employees, it calls for action from every quarter. Men and women need to shun the stereotypes and have to be more open to the ideas coming from women. Our duty towards raising a future generation that understands the importance of gender balance begins today. The patriarchy will resist and crave to go back to the familiar imbalance but collective efforts should overcome that resistance for restoring balance for a more inclusive future.
As we gear up for this movement, let us take a pause to salute those who have overcome the many challenges and given us a reason to believe that change can happen. Women who inspire us today and have found their standing did not have it easy. Let us thank the men and women around us who fought small battles so that their girls could study; so that their wives, mothers, and sisters are not burdened by the limiting social dictums; so that their female colleagues are able to take up more challenges at work.
Come join the movement. Share your thoughts and your #BalanceforBetter pose in comments here and make a pledge to do your bit to accelerate gender balance around you.
IWD 2019 #BalanceforBetter Pose