Celebrate, Ms Consumer

International women’s day today is more about women’s buying capability than their rights.

I was alright with the tokenism of International Women’s day. A few political statements, some well intentioned but ill-thought out schemes announced to mark the day – that I could live with. But today’s women’s day celebrations bother me. In its hundredth year, it has become the biggest gimmick of consumerism.

Every single business out there gets set to woo women. ‘Celebrate your womanhood’ hoardings scream, mailboxes and phones are flooded with every kind of offer. Beauty salons, cosmetic companies, clothing companies, shoes, lingerie shops, restaurants and even hospitals have offers. What’s wrong you say?  All these celebrations are targeted at women who can spend, women who own credit cards, women who have access to online shopping.

They are willing to celebrate your womanhood as long as you are willing to loosen your purse strings. Make you feel special with Women’s day, week and even month in some cases. This of course leaves out a lot women. The garment worker, the nurse in the hospital with special offers for the women’s day, government school teachers, the domestic workers, all these women who probably will only buy vegetables or groceries don’t get to celebrate their womanhood.

More of often than not, they don’t even know about the day. In any case how many of us remember what it is meant for? Even the ones celebrating…Here’s the definition "International Women’s Day, March 8, is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future." We have quite conveniently forgotten the political and social achievements (or the lack of it) and celebrate the consumerism inspired economic achievement.

Some optimists say as long as we celebrate. I am however still a skeptic.

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