Constant challenges have only made woman more alive, passionate and confident about getting what she wants, says P. SUJATHA VARMA

It almost seems facile, and even a bit insulting, to note that a certain woman lived during a historic period in which all women faced extreme difficulties and marginalisation. Though reality has changed to a great extent, most women still struggle for their basic rights.A woman can often be difficult to understand, it is said. When a man's plans fall apart, he is hurt and falls back for help on his spouse who gives him emotional support and inspiration he needs to fight politics that thrive in power corridors. "It is time man realized that he is able to do more with his life simply because of the woman behind him, who is ever ready to help, unconditionally," says an assertive housewife Padmaja.

Too emotional

"Women can make the space around them bustling with high energy. Their enthusiasm is contagious, their professionalism, commendable," echoes U. Divya, an intermediate student. "But they often seem easier to convince, more vulnerable to latch on to and too emotional. This weakness has branded women as `trailing spouses' and I hate to be one," frowns a soon-to-be bride Akankshita of Nalanda College.Although not really happy with the slow pace of improvement in social status, the fairer sex is determined than ever to further define its capabilities and embrace the challenges that lie ahead. Women have realized that they need to draw some of their happiness from within themselves.

Inborn traits

As they navigate their way through life, the best they can do is know and like themselves. The modern woman is clear about her life's purpose. She has learnt the art of tapping into rich reserves of energy, power and passion. But many are comfortable in their space and never experiment. "It will take some time before they realize that they are born to make a difference. It could be anything- an aspiration to earn more money, more fame or knowledge. They should try to have a vision beyond the four walls of their house, as they have choice today," observes beautician Aruna. N. Pallavi, a woman entrepreneur, feels that once a woman decides why she wants to live, it clears the fog so she is able to see herself clearly. Referring to the International Women's Day observed on March 8, Pragna, a student, says wryly: "Except for observing the day once a year, we have done precious little to better our lives," and largely blames male chauvinists for the state of affairs. "The less the interference from men the more confident and independent a woman will grow," she maintains. The need to protect and nurture is inborn in a woman who deserves all the happiness in her life simply because she is worth it.Gender discrimination depends on one's ownconduct. If you portray yourself as helpless,you will be treated as one. A woman has ahands-on approach to the work and she ismore dedicated.M. Ratnamanikyam
Deputy Transport Commissioner, RTA.Women are experts in coordinating andleading teams. They also have nurturingqualities and multi-task naturally. They muststop complaining about being left out andsurge ahead with confidence.V. Madhavilatha
Additional Coordinator of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.Economic independence is the key to womenempowerment. Men realizing women's role insociety building is a happy development. It istime women insisted on equal status based onmerit, rather than demanding reservation forthe fairer sex.V. Himabindu
Regional Employment OfficerThis day is observed for a re-look at theproblems confronted by the fairer sex. Theday is a reminder that women continue tolanguish in all fields. Let's look forward tothe times when we do not have to observethis day any more.P. Bharata Lakshmi
Media and Communications Officer for PIB