Kul Bhushan reflects on celebrating the yearly UN International Women’s Day on March 8th.
Women give us birth. They feed and love us, cuddle and care for us till we can fend for ourselves. When we grow up to become boys, other women come into our lives: sisters, cousins and aunts who play with us, guide us and prepare us for life. As teenagers, young women excite us men, tempt and fascinate us. As our girlfriends, fiancées and wives, women stimulate us, provoke us, motivate us, persuade us, encourage us, and inspire us, among many other things.
And yet so many men mistreat them, bully them, abuse them, deprive them and enslave them. Look at how we pay women less wages and yet so often, rape and abuse them. The unequal treatment of women makes sorry reading with horrible facts emerging from around the world, including the so-called developed world.
Killing them in the womb before birth, mistreating them and denying women proper education and health facilities is unforgivable. Hence highlighting their plight and achievements despite their built-in disadvantages during just one day in the year is not enough. Women’s plight and empowerment are highlighted throughout the year in many ways. Much more needs to be done in our daily lives about how women must be treated with respect and ensuring their freedom.
Osho says, “If all over the world the woman is allowed freedom to grow to her potential, there will be many, many women enlightened; many, many women mystics, poets, painters. And they will enhance not only the woman’s part of the world – because the world is one – they will enhance the whole world. Life will become richer.
It is for the betterment of both man and woman that the woman should be given every freedom and equal opportunity for her individuality. Then there will be a sense of humour. And the woman can laugh more gracefully than man, she has every potential for it – but it is repressed, condemned, criticized. She has lived a life of such misery that you cannot hope that she will show some sense of humour. But the day is not far away… then the whole earth will be full of laughter. Instead of talks about war, instead of politicians giving speeches all around the world, instead of the sermons of stupid priests who know nothing, it will be far better that every man and every woman is able to see the hilarious side of life and to enjoy it.”(1)
To enrich our world, let us all pledge to protect, nurture and respect women. Not just for one day as prescribed by the United Nations but every single day of our lives.
(1) Quote by Osho from The New Dawn, Ch 31, Q 1