What is International Women’s Day? Why it’s important for desi girls?

Okay mere dosts, what is international women’s day? And why should you care? International women’s day is a day to celebrate women and advocate for equal rights in all sectors of life (reproductive, gender, financial, etc) and it’s celebrated internationally. It’s important for us desi girls because any conversation celebrating women in our desi households is a step in the right direction.

Mom and daughter with daughter holding white sign saying: "Fight like a girl."
Photo by Rochelle Brown on Unsplash

What is International Women’s Day?

According to internationalwomensday.com, International Women’s Day is a day that we focus on making the world a more gender equal place for everyone living in it. This day focuses on equal rights in all parts of life, financial, reproductive rights, social, etc! And yupp you guessed it, International Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe. Issues on this day range from closing the wage gap (if you didn’t know, women get 82 cents for every dollar a man gets paid for the same job, surprise!) to equality for women with disabilities. Psst, if you want to learn more about how women get paid less than men for the same job, click here! And yes it’s typically much worse for women of color **cough**cough**.

What is the purpose of International Women’s Day?

The purpose of International Women’s Day is to celebrate women’s achievements across any and all national, cultural, linguistic, political and economic lines. There are HUGE developments constantly happening to fight for gender equality across many spectrums, and it’s a day to take a moment and recognize these people’s successes! (Sourced from here).

Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th?

According to a quick google search on the internet (see link here), it looks like the United Nations/officials chose March 8th as International Women’s Day in 1975 and that date has been International Women’s Day since then.

How can we celebrate International Women’s Day?

Okay mere dosts, now that we’ve talked about what is Women’s Day and why it’s celebrated, lets talk about how we can celebrate it. Friends there are so 👏 many 👏 ways 👏 to celebrate International Women’s Day. You can listen to a podcast about women’s rights, look up the wage gap (again, pretty great information here) or simply wish the women in your life a Happy International Women’s Day.

While wishing my mother a Happy Women’s Day we actually came upon the topic of periods and talked about ovulation and our menstrual cycles. She was flabbergasted to find out about some intricacies of our cycles and how it affects our energy levels, moods, etc. She legitimately told me that we need to have these conversation again so that she could learn more about it, information she didn’t have access to or was misinformed when she was younger. And friends, that was pretty much the best way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Why is this important for desi girls? The effects of celebrating Women’s Day in desi households/communities

So we talked about what Women’s Day is, why it’s important to celebrate, and how you can celebrate it. But let’s take a second to chat about what happens when we celebrate International Women’s Day in desi communities, specifically, first generation desi households. I think it’s safe to say that women are (many times) second class citizens in first gen desi households (I can choose from a myriad of tik toks/memes that talk about how desi daughters get yelled at for breathing too loudly, or how sons can go out until 5 in the morning while daughters get the second degree for going out until 11 pm, etc).

But when we celebrate women’s day, we open the opportunity in our first gen households to honor women instead of demean and demonize them. I mean, think about common desi curse words (bhen-chod: sister-f*cker/mader-chod: mother f*cker), and you’ll see that root of these curse words are women/feminine derived. And that kind of sucks friends (even if it doesn’t impact us immediately while being said, the idea is still being rooted in the household each time one of these words are used, similar to “don’t be a p*ssy”).

So when we take a day to even just wish our female compatriots Happy Women’s Day, we give ourselves and our male family members a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of women. So my 2 cents? BE LOUD AND PROUD MY DESI SISTERS. Go forth and celebrate yourselves, your mothers, your sisters, and anybody else who identifies as a women. Today’s our day and nobody can take that away from us!

Signing off with peace, love, and so much sabr,

Heens ❤️

PS: Want more content on how I started to build a relationship with my desi parents? Check out how I set boundaries with them here!

Psssst, I’d like to point out and reiterate that I am not a mental health professional and this is not a form of therapy. These posts are based on my experiences and helped me in my journey. There are local websites available for professional mental health services.

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