It’s interesting to note that after years of gut-spewing, passion-puffing activism for feminist rights, women have evolved to a more stoic, less frantic form of asking for their equal share of life vis-a-vis men. The struggle hasn’t abated. This quieter stance has evolved because women have begun to prove themselves in every walk of life. They are achievers – super achievers, not inferior to men in any way. What still remains to be done is to ensure that opportunities percolate down to the grass roots so that the last woman in the last village of planet earth is given the opportunity to follow her dreams. Women safety and domestic violence continue to haunt those women who are not empowered, financially secure or not educated. On this International Women’s Day, let’s devote our time and energy to the cause of educating women. With knowledge comes empowerment. Let’s focus on creating a network of women solidarity. Thewomaninc is dedicated to doing exactly that – creating a platform where women can express their views and grievances through poems, stories and essays so that no woman feels that she is alone in her suffering. Sharing life stories gives one better perspectives on how to confront crises in life. So, speak up, speak out and network with each other. That is the message that Womaninc wants to send out today, this 8th of March, to every women on the planet.
Nowadays there are more and more organizations led by women that empower their cause, and enable them to chase their dreams, sometimes even in their second innings. Such networks become very essential, to build strong communities where women can speak up for themselves and others. For abuse victims in particular, who prefer anonymity, online groups such as ours become more critical in giving them assurance of a united front. We encourage members to provide support, in whatever way possible, whether it is by donating cellphones or narrating their own tales of abuse so that the reluctant victims may one day be brave enough to come forward and take the first fledgling steps towards ending this cycle of abuse. Poetry can be a very powerful tool for healing, and an outlet for expression – finding the right words to articulate an experience of abuse,which is a taboo topic otherwise, can be very satisfying and relieving. It is after all, during extremities, that we are moved to write. Seeing those words written on paper often leads to other more concrete steps, such as medical or legal care. This is how women can help women – showing by example. We hope this will inspire women, who have escaped abusive surroundings, to do the same for other less fortunate or less educated women.
The Woman Inc aims to highlight these very issues for several reasons. One, to reduce stigma and self shame, because if we discuss such issues and help women realise that it happens to many, that they are not alone, that this violence is not their fault, it will empower them to start talking about their issue and start looking for ways out. Two, to give women information on tools such as women shelters, helplines for women, legal aid, etc. The Women Inc was started in the US and for now, it has US specific information, but we are looking to expand this now. With interns and editors across the South Asian continent, and soon, Europe, we have plans of creating networks with women’s organisations for more active help in more regions. Three, by raising awareness on the socio-political, economic and cultural issues facing women in general, we are striving to creating a fairer, less patriarchal world with more inclusion not just for all our sisters and daughters, but for men, trans people, and more. By creating discussion and dissent, we are helping the voices for change to get more momentum and get more powerful. Finally, by giving a voice to abuse victims, we are helping women to get a safe space for confessions, using writing life narratives as a healing tool, and just helping and supporting in whatever way we can.
So all you women out there, take care of yourselves. Network with other other women or women’s organizations in times of distress or in times of need. Above all, as our tag line goes – Believe In Women Solidarity.
Wishing You All A Happy Woman’s Day!