Why Women’s Day?

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Why Women’s Day?

The other day my son saw me involved in activities for the International Women’s Day he also recorded my video message for the women of Jammu Kashmir Startup Community. He asked me why was there so much adulation around Women’s Day? It was indeed a thought provoking question. I asked him who managed our home and he promptly said, ” Grandma and You”. I told him that it was not the two of us but also the grandfather and his dad as they believed in working as a team no matter what. I added that not all women could say that. There still is a great disparity among women who are from different backgrounds- economic, social, professional or ethnic. Not all have access to basic rights or opportunities.  Also saw a reaction from a lady who said, “Everyday is women’s day or any other celebrated day, don’t get this day’s thingy. Such a show off and waste of time.” She was right to some extent; we must not have the need to celebrate a day like that but then not all women are privileged. So just drawing everyone’s attention may be required till there is gender equity. Women have come a long way but it’s only minuscule. The disparity exits everywhere. I was surprised to hear from women of 32 different countries on an international platform two years ago. Wage disparity, leadership positions and some stereotypes still exist so we are in solidarity with all those women who are homemakers or gainfully employed.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, women are 257 years behind men at present. This means that a girl born in 2020 is 257 years behind the boy born on next operation-table in the same hospital. This means that at the current pace of bridging gender gap, it would take 257 years for women to attain parity with men. This is alarming because in 2019 report, they were supposed to take 202 years.The Global Gender Gap Report is released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) every year since they began publishing it in 2006. The report encompasses a global gender gap index measuring gender equality across four pillars -economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment and health and survival. (according to an article in the Times on India, March 2020)

While my thoughts were of the condition of women around the world, I received a message from the lady I really admire and who keeps inspiring. Couldn’t have asked for anything better to mark a special day!

Ms. Priya Paul, Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd. had a very thoughtful, warm and inspiring message for the ladies in hospitality, “On this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate ourselves and our contributions, both big and small. It is a great time to be a woman and equally great to be in the hospitality.  Follow your dreams passionately!”

Then a  batchmate of mine from college; Mr. Alok Kaul who is now a hotel GM based in Hyderabad asked me to send a message that he could relay during the IWD celebrations at his hotel. It was an honour indeed and I was touched by this gesture as he could take any inspirational video from the internet or play motivational message by any celebrity. I recorded a voice message instead and shared with him with a picture of mine. Something I hadn’t done ever. He was appreciative and after the function he sent a note to me, “Great Speech, It was amazing today! Have increased your fan following! Played your message with a session by Ms. Sheila Ram Mohan“. What a way to call it a day!

My message for the ladies was,

“Take time to thank the person in the mirror for all that she has been through and all that she has achieved; standing beside you no matter what!

Have aspirations, dreams and happy thoughts for your future; celebrate who you are! It is a great time to be a woman and equally wonderful to be in hospitality. The world has taken note of your contributions and you are being valued more than you can imagine. You have the key for gender equity and you create that balance.

The world is talking about diversity and inclusion more than it ever did. Ladies it’s your time to shine. Let nothing stop you from being who you are and what you love doing.

Warm wishes on International Women’s Day. Have fun and thank your teams specially the male colleagues for celebrating you all and let’s work towards achieving ‘Each for Equal’ because An equal world is an enabled world.

Cheers!”

Listening to the audio message, my boss Mr. Bhuvan suggested that I could define women as Wonderful, Optimistic, Multitasker, Energetic and Nurturing which also highlight the qualities of a lady. Whatever it meant I loved it completely as it was so wonderful to hear that.

Just when I as still basking in the ‘feel good’ factor of the many events of the day, I got a call from Mr. Sahil Verma, Founder of the Jammu Kashmir Startup Community and he requested for a video message for the Women entrepreneurs of Jammu. This time I couldn’t do only with the audio message, he was persistent that I do a video. Finally recorded my first video on my mobile phone and sent it across. Not very good in presentation quality but with a heartfelt inspirational message. This also became the first video of IWH. My 13 year old son did a good job and he uploaded the video on my YouTube channel; that didn’t have any content till then.

This was followed by a note from the founder and editors of HospiBuz magazine, the promising young professionals Komal Hora and Nikita Hora for association with IWH for an interview series. We look forward to doing many more engaging and fun things together.

The icing on the cake was a message from a friend who said how he wished I had met his mother when she was younger. He shared his reasons with me and I was touched beyond words. I also somewhere understand the power of connecting with people through stories. I counselled him on the situation and I felt it was very kind of him to share his personal story it requires guts; it was a compliment for whatever little I have been able to achieve through IWH. I know for sure that this is the direction I would like to move forward and people around me; be it in the personal or the professional spheres have been more than supportive. I only feel a great sense of responsibility with utmost humility and gratitude.

Video for JKSC

 

 

 

Laxmi Todiwan
Laxmi Todiwan
Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. A hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development is close to her heart. She writes for hospitality journals, international websites and columns in the local newspapers. Married to a Master Mariner she loves to write on the maritime industry as well as the lives and relationships of the fraternity. She expresses her thoughts on her blog and website, www.theiwh.com

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