Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

A woman elling vegetables at Imphal Nupi Keithel

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2022: From Women Perspectives

“Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another: We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.”- Serena Williams

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year across the world. The day is celebrated to commemorate the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women and raising awareness against bias. The global theme of International Women’s Day 2022 is “Changing Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”. This year theme is all about recognizing and amplifying the important role of women and girls around the world play in addressing climate change.

The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, and more than a million people turned out to rallies in Europe. For most of the 20th century, International Women’s Day was acknowledged and celebrated by people at the grassroots level. International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.

Street vendor selling grapes

The role of Manipuri Women has been known all over the world for their courage, skill and active involvement in many social, economic, cultural and sports activities. Woman takes the role of a mother, wife, daughter, sister and a daughter-in-law. The Nupi Lans (Women’s War) fought by the women of Manipur and the movements of Nisha-Bandh (Anti-Alcohol movement) and Meira Paibi are clear examples of women’s active role played in our society. Manipuri women brought many laurels in games and sports, arts and culture, and in many other fields.  A cross section of women from different work places expressed their point of view on this year International Women’s Day.

Moirangthem Muktamani Devi, Padma Shri Awardee of the year 2022 in trade and industry category tells that she feels excited and happy for conferring the prestigious award to her as a woman. This is a clear example of empowering and encouraging woman in our country. We should work hard to lead a happy life. Women should show their potential to prove that women can do as other men can do in every aspect of life. Sometimes society consider only men as human being but women as not. This mindset should be totally cleared and washed away to make our country a prosperous one, she added.

Talking about International Women’s Day, Yengkhom Jugeshwari Devi, the first announcer of All India Radio, Imphal said that women should not be looked down in the society. They should be given high status with equal opportunity and respect. At the time women should try to keep their identity well preserved and try their best not to lose their identity.

L. Echen Roy of Keishampat Keisham Leikai who sells Kabok at Khwairamband Nupi Keithe expressed that our country will be fully developed when there is more women leaders and women are empowered. Crimes against women need to come to an end as a mark of respect to women.

On the Occasion of International Women’s Day, Dr. K Sobita Devi, former Chairperson of Manipur State Commission for Women stated that there arises the need for spiritual courage of womenfolk in disappearing inequality between human beings for a healthy world.

Ratneshwori Goshwami, a senior sports journalist expressed that the low percentage of women participation in decision making shows that still women are underprivileged. Only few countries of the world enjoy equal rights among men and women. Even in the Indian context, only limited space is being occupied by women. Mentioning about the women journalists of the state, she said that quality matters not the quantity of women journalists. Though few in numbers, they are performing their duty sincerely and with dedication. She also appealed to all the women to be dutiful, work sincerely with heart and soul to lead a respectable life in the society. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Ms Ratneshwori conveys the need of everyone’s contribution in bringing gender equality in our society.

Women Street Vendors with their meager wares

Tongbram Bijiyashanti, a young successful entrepreneur in producing yarn from lotus stem said that she is happy that every year 8th March is being celebrated as Women’s Day to honour the achievements of women and raising awareness against prejudice. Though men and women have equal rights, women seem to be a subordinate and face many hardships in their life for being a woman. We women should encourage each other in helping women by working together. Women need not depend on government jobs to be financially self-reliant. They can easily earn money even from working at home during their free time. This will make women empowered and lead a financially self-reliant individual and help supporting the family.

Shanatombi Wangkheimayum, a research Scholar of Manipur University opined that every stages of women’s life are full of sacrifice even from the childhood stage. The sacrificing spirit has been in the blood of every woman as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and daughter-in-law. Celebrating a special one day, 8th March as International Women’s Day in 365 days is very important for every woman. Among all the celebrations, this special day is the happiest day being a woman, she added. The celebration of this special day needs to continue at various levels for more recognition of   women’s achievement.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi lauded the women of the country for taking the lead in every sphere while addressing the nation in his 86th edition of Mann Ki Baat programme at All India Radio on Sunday 27th February, 2022.  Mr. Modi said women are reaching new heights in different fields and dispelling myths. Talking about the International Women’s Day to be celebrated on 8th March, the Prime Minister said the daughters of the country are playing new and bigger roles in the Armed Forces. He stressed that a social evils like triple talaq is also coming to an end because women themselves are now leading the change. Ever since the law against triple talaq was enacted, there has been a reduction of 80 percent in triple talaq cases in the country. Mr. Modi said the country is trying to give equal rights to men and women by fixing a common age for marriage.

Women selling knives and axes etc

The Women and Child Development Ministry  celebrates the International Women’s Day week from 1st March as an Iconic Week as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. As a part of the week-long celebration, the Ministry organizes various events and social media campaigns covering a variety of themes related to women’s safety and empowerment. The celebration will mark an occasion to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equity and women’s empowerment but also to critically reflect on accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality. As a part of the celebration, Nari Shakti Puraskaar Award will be given on 8th March – International Women’s Day.

Result of the recently held 12th State Assembly elections will show a significant number of women to be in the law making next after two day of celebration of International Women’s Day. More women need to be encouraged in the active participation of decision making. If we are able to bear in mind that every day as Women’s Day there will be less crime against women, gender bias and discrimination. There is also a need to increase more awareness through more narratives and activities to fight against gender bias and discrimination. Every one of us needs to play our part in bringing gender equality in our society and wishing a Very Happy International Women’s Day to all the Women.

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