International Women’s Day

by Shweta Ramkumar

International Women’s Day usually signifies a day of pride for me and and acknowledgement of the progress and achievements women have made over the years to earn a place for themselves. It was also when yours truly became a published author 4 years ago, shoutout to Samantha Jansen for giving me that opportunity 🙂

However this year I have felt both deflated and cynical about the true meaning of this day. I’m not diminishing the power of women, I’m more of an egalitarian than feminist and this is just based on my observations and life experience.

Firstly, the concept of gender and the essence of womanhood has evolved significantly over the years. You now also have transgendered and non-binary genders who too deserve their space on this day. Secondly, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is equity and equality, and I have seen anything but that not just in the context of equality for all genders but also the core message presented in all Women’s day speeches on what it means to be a real woman. Thirdly, gender equality, inclusivity and diversity all seem to be fancy words used by organisations to make themselves look good but are rarely put into practice and the bias towards stereotypes on gender, race, religion, sexuality, disability and neurodivergence is still very prevalent.

I would like to see more progress in the following areas for this day to have its true meaning and essence :

  • In order to be truly inclusive, make it a day of gender equality, not just about women, where people of all genders are given equal representation, rights, privileges and opportunities to shine
  • Shatter all forms of biases based on archaic cultural, religious and social norms. For example, abolish something being a “woman’s” or “man’s” job and equip anyone and everyone to take on the challenge
  • A woman’s worth is NOT based solely on being a wife, mother, caregiver and nurturer. This is particularly evident in highly conservative, patriarchal and religious cultures where no matter how much a woman has achieved professionally or in any other area of life, its all downplayed or worth nothing if she hasn’t got ‘feminine’ attributes described above. All genders have masculine and feminine attributes and they’re not exclusive for one gender; everyone is worthy just the way they are
  • WOMANHOOD DOES NOT EQUAL MOTHERHOOD. Every women’s day speech and article highlights and celebrate motherhood more than any other contribution which sends the incorrect message to the younger generation. Empower and educate them that motherhood is one of several life options that they have the free will to choose in order to be complete, happy and accomplished
  • Reproductive autonomy and the power to make life choices that are best for them with no judgement & criticism

Hi, I'm Shweta

I coach non-native English speaking healthcare professionals how to advance in their career and build better relationships with their patients and colleagues by expressing themselves more articulately and confidently in the English language.

I work closely with healthcare professionals who work with patients regularly. I help them improve their communication skills when interacting with patients and colleagues, teach them how to show up authentically, assertively and articulately in their field of work in order for them to ultimately gain credibility, validation and respect.

If you work in a clinical role in the healthcare industry and would like to learn more about how to better connect and communicate openly with your clients / patients, book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you.

Shweta Ramkumar - English Language Confidence Coach

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