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Women's Day reflections

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Woman of substance A child playing in the swimming pool under the watchful eyes of her mother
Woman of substance A child playing in the swimming pool under the watchful eyes of her mother

NIVEDITA GANGULY

The roles played historically by men and women are not strictly within their domain anymore and the lines have become blurred, writes Nivedita Ganguly

She is no longer the coy, shy, bat-your-eyelids type. But rather, a woman who knows her mind only too well and has the confidence to face the challenges in life.

Be it handling professional commitments, social interactions or bringing up kids, they have broken the shackles of age-old subjugation and emerged out as an assertive, fiercely independent woman.

As yet another International Women's Day (March 8) rolls by, it's time to reflect on the progress of women and do some introspection.

History

The memorable struggle of women working in garment factories in New York, who marched for better work conditions on March 8, was declared as International Women's Day in 1910 by Clara Zetkin, the German communist leader.

Over the years, the Day has sparked off many a heated debate and solemn pledges, aside from the cozy meets at luncheons and the demonstrations on the streets.

The onset of the 21 {+s} {+t} century saw the myriad changing facets of women and a re-defining of gender roles.

Encapsulating this new face of women, Indian cinema too has undergone a slow change and reflects the aspirations of the person who strives to carve a spot for herself under the sun, who wants, just for once, to live her life her own way.

What used to be a purely male domain a few years ago, has transformed into a vibrant reflection of the various facets of the 21 {+s} {+t} century women. Cinema as a medium has moved beyond the conventional, broken many rules.

Motherhood

The roles played historically by men and women are not strictly within their domain anymore and the lines have become blurred. For every woman who manages to balance a career with a family life, there are several others who have serious self-doubts about whether they're trying to do the impossible and driving themselves sick.

Fortunately, in most modern homes, men are chipping in with the housework, and the children are eager to do their share to ensure that Mom doesn't have to overwork herself.

But not everything is always perfect in every household. There are the ones who have to singlehandedly take care of every responsibility at home.

And being a single mother is also another challenging issue many women are facing boldly.

“Being a single mother is not easy. But a right attitude and positive outlook makes quite a difference.

In fact, it is nice to have my own space.

No struggle, no fights. And I get a lot time to pursue my passions,” says Sunanda, who stays alone with her 10-year-old son.

Challenges

Defying all conventional beliefs that people had for women Anita Rao took up the bike expedition from Delhi to Leh last year.

With a team of 100 men and two women, she took the challenges boldly and completed the trip successfully.

“It was a great experience. We had to handle all kinds of terrains and weather, but still managed to remain in the top 10,” says Anita.

Also an artist and probably the only woman biker in the city, Anita loves her independence and private space even as breaks many such pre-defined images of woman.

“I love my bike and it's a great feeling to be self-reliant and explore places,” she says.

Women do have the inner strength to confront any situation, all that they need to cultivate is the conviction, adds Anita.

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