International Women’s Day: What Do Women Think?

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"She takes care of herself, she is ahead of her time" is a line taken from one of my favorite songs "She’s always a Woman". Yes, that’s how a woman is and should be. Woman, without her, a man is nothing. In fact, without her, the world would not be worth living in.


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A daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grand mother….are the different roles a woman gets to portray and she carries them all  simultaneously with ?lan. There is nobody quite like her. She has always been an integral part of the society. Hers is the hand that rocks the cradle; the hand that rules the world. She has moved from the back seat into the board room. She is no longer ‘just a typist’ but walks shoulder to shoulder with men in all fields. Women are in space, in aircrafts, on ships and yet with all that they manage a home with the same efficiency. She is the inspirer, the motivator, a consultant, a guide and with her single minded dedication she makes sure that whatever she touches turns to gold. To quote Martina Navratilova, "The key is for women not to set any limits."


Yet, in many strata of life, she is the oppressed, the exploited and the condemned. Her value is not recognized. Her humility, docility and submissiveness are mistaken for weakness. Women do not have the physical strength of Arnold Schwarzenegger and are called the weaker sex. However, it cannot be denied that women are survivors. As Ritu Sharma of the Women’s Edge Coalition, an advocacy group, says "Teach a man to fish, he eats. Teach a woman to fish, everybody eats."


Let’s hear from five Mangalorean achievers in Qatar, their views on the role of women in today’s world.  


Dr Khudsia Sadiq


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(Dr Khudsia is a successful Obstetrician and Gynaecologist practicing in Doha.  Hailing from Mangalore, she has been living in Doha for the past 20 years.)


Women’s day is an excellent opportunity for women all over the world to come together and celebrate being women. I believe the contemporary woman is just breaking out of her shell and getting ready to conquer the world. Women have reached great heights in all fields ranging from teaching, law, administration and medicine to construction, astronomy and defense and she has just begun her journey. I think there is no end to what a woman can achieve, if she puts her mind to it. As Napoleon once said "What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve". There is still a long way to go, but I believe that we are on the right path, the path to success.
 
Being a working mother is a difficult job, it’s like having two jobs at a time and it gets pretty hectic, but I strike a balance between my personal and professional life and I think every woman should do so to be truly prosperous.
 
The secret of my success most definitely is the constant help and support from my husband, my children, my parents and my friends and patients too. They have always been with me through thick and thin and I owe it all to them.


Eugene D’Souza


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(Eugene has been with HSBC since 1989 and is Manager ? Credit Cards. She has two talented and bright young daughters.)


Quote from the Bible (Gal. 6:7-8) "Whatever we sow, we will certainly reap"


Though today’s woman’s role is changing from that of a housewife to career woman, deep down she is still the homemaker and foundation to the family with right values. She juggles and implies time management with multitasks. Managing a competitive career and a warm welcoming home, giving the best at the professional and personal level. The respect for women from peers is ever changing and so are the expectations. She is on the constant move for improvement and soul-searching questions.  Who am I? Where do I fit in this world? What am I doing, what do I want to do? Am I living up to my full potential?


Veni Maroli


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(Mrs. Maroli is the Head of Repatriation of Indian Community Benevolent Fund (ICBF) and is the past president of Indian Women’s Association and Probaho.)


Today a Women’s world is becoming more prominent then ever.
 
Even Women’s world organization for rights, literature and developments has been formed because nowhere on the earth are women’s voices given the same respect as men’s.
 
Gender based censorship is a human rights abuse, which must be fought. The world cannot afford to use less than half its wisdom!
 
It is proven all over the world, that women’s participation in Information and Technology in several multinational companies being chaired by women. In India too Women’s role is gaining momentum in the information and Technology Field. Even in the political arena, Government of India is contemplating a minimum quota system for women by legislating the rule. Here in Qatar also, Her Highness Shk. Mouza’s development plan for education field is remarkable.
 
It goes without saying, we, the Indian Women’s Association is one of the most popular Organizations among the Indians in Qatar .


Milan Arun


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(Milan is the past cultural secretary for Indian Cultural Center in Qatar. She is truly a multifaceted woman – an accomplished singer, dancer, choreographer, actress, play director and is also a keen sportsperson. She works as a Business Development Officer for Gulf Air)


International Women’s day, a day to honor the silent sacrifices a women makes in her lifetime. A tribute to those gentle yet strong shoulders. Ever since 1900 when IWD came into existence, the path has run through a slow but strong course of upliftment from negative existence of women to one of recognition.


A woman conquers various obstacles in every stage of her life, right for existence in her mother’s womb, to being a girl child, a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother and a grandmother. Volumes can be written about this but today it is indeed heartening to know the heights women have scaled. Whatever capacity, be it an astronaut or a housewife, the multitasking a women is capable of handling deserves accolades.


Being born as a women I feel is a special gift to me from God. For me this creation of God is the chalice holding the key to ‘making’ or ‘breaking’ a home. Women seeking equal status in community should not be taken as a sign of competition, but as a respect to her existence due to the power endowed by God to her to bring forth life into this world and her contribution in molding the future generations.  My only earnest wish is, let us ‘women’ strive to uphold and emancipate the cause of women, but in the process let us not lose the excellent admirable feminine traits we have been endowed with. Then I would say that the suffrage women encountered to reach these heights we have reached today would not be in vain. And soon will come a stage where everyday will be a Women’s day


Neelam Lobo


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(Born and raised in Qatar, Neelam belongs to the new generation. She is young, dedicated and talented. Neelam is the representative of the Mangalorean community in the Parish Council in Qatar.)


Today women walk shoulder to shoulder with men. There is no field where women have not left their mark.  Blessed with patience, will power and the capability, women make the best homemakers and they can very well manage their work.  She may be an entrepreneur but at the same time she plays the role of a daughter, sister, wife, mother with equal ease.  When women are capable of handling both household chores as well as the responsibilities of business, why should they be subdued? Even today men are given more value than women in some parts of the world. Why should there be discrimination between men and women? Women are equally important. In reality Women are true homemakers. They can work and satisfy the financial need of the family and at the same time care for, comfort and love all her family members equally and satisfy their emotional needs.


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What is International Women’s Day? It is a day on which women all over the world, irrespective of color, ethnicity and social status, come together to celebrate their Day, a tradition that represents more than nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. The first International Woman’s Day was observed on 28 February, 1909.


As we celebrate yet another International Women’s Day let us remember the words of Susan Brownell Anthony, a visionary and  an educated American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women’s rights movement  who said, "The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race."


If every woman in this world is given the self respect and education that is rightfully hers, don’t you agree that this world will be a perfect place to live in?


Happy Women’s Day to all you beautiful women out there! And remember these wonderful lines from Audrey Hepburn’s ‘Beauty Tips’, "if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms."

Author: Joyce Alvares- Qatar