Monday, March 5, 2018

Circular 05-2018

15/1089-90, VASUNDHARA, VASUNDHARA (P.O.), Dt. GHAZIABAD (U.P), PIN-201012

Reference: AIA/Circular-05/2018                                                              Dated:  5th March 2018

Unit Secretaries,
Members & Spl. Invitees – NE &
Members of Women’s Committee

Dear Comrades,


Every year, the world observes 8th March as International Women’s Day reminding of the struggles of the earlier generation for right to dignified life with equality in all spheres for women. The United Nations (UN) way back in 1970s decided to observe the year 1976 as “WOMEN’S YEAR”. After 42 years since the observance of a whole year for the cause of women, very recently the UN has to include the women issues with all prominence in its 2030 Agenda (which is reproduced below).

We find that WOMEN’S DAY is observed in almost every office with pomp, with galaxy of VIPs appearing on the stage and talking about the contribution of women. But how many of such occasions are really used to discuss serious issues that concern women and children and the society at large. The oppression of women, denial of due space to women in the family, the superstitions and so-called customs that are fed into the young minds from the day they are born are rarely subjected to discussions.

On issues like own marriage even today the women do not have right to choose. The killings in the name of “honour” are rampant across India. The demon of dowry rules the roost. Right to property to daughters is an anathema even today in majority parts of the country.

Sexual harassment at workplaces is common to see in this country. Despite all big talk, when the issue of sexual harassment crops up all the officers – atleast in IA&AD – joins together and end up in prosecuting the victim. (The incident in the O/o AG, Delhi is the recent one to quote). The family and the society, instead of standing with the victim try to demoralise and demonise her and also, many times, indulge in the character assassination of the victim.

International Women’s Day may be observed with all seriousness, discussing and focusing on the issues. We should not end up its observance just like a religious event. What is required is discussion and decision rich in content and not pomp and show.

All our Units are requested to cause introspection and ensure quality in observance of International Women’s Day from this year onwards.

With greetings,
Yours fraternally

M. S. Raja
Secretary General

Logo of the United Nations
International Women's Day 
8 March

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
It is also an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda set by the United Nations (UN), building momentum for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
Some key targets of the (UN) 2030 Agenda:
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives

This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.
International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.
Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force.
They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rural women and their organizations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. They are using innovative agricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements and running for office.
On 8 March, join activists around the world and UN Women to seize the moment, celebrate, take action and transform women’s lives everywhere. The time is NOW.