Home > Ideas > International Women’s Day – What purpose does it serve?

International Women’s Day – What purpose does it serve?

I attended the monthly meeting of a professional association today. It being International Women’s Day the theme had to be Women – since the association focused on excellence in the field of Management I thought the speeches would focus on “Women in Management” or something close to that. But no speaker in the hour long meeting spoke on that subject – maybe it was a mistake on my part to think they would.

It reminded me of some of the agenda-less meetings I have attended in the past. No! Let me put it another way. It appeared like a ISO 9000 scoped meeting. The certification process mandates a meeting at certain stage and hence they had to conduct a meeting even if there was nothing significant to discuss. It was in free fall from the word Go.

One of the invited speakers, a lady from the City Corporation, read out a statement which sounded like something she had downloaded from Wikipedia. It was boring.

The other speaker, a learned judge, read out some provisions made by Indian Law for the protection of women. For some minutes I thought I was attending a lecture in the local Law College.

But after that he shared some painful stories to narrate about the piteous condition of women in our society. We seem to be getting more degenerate with each passing day. That part of his speech was the only highlight of the entire evening, albeit a very painful and shameful one. With each passing day our society seemed to be making it more difficult for its women.

On the one hand people pay lip service to the Woman by calling her mother, sister, symbol of love, even the reincarnation of the Goddess; but in reality very few seem to care a damn. Unspeakable crimes are being committed on women, particularly the ones in the lower strata of the society and the girl-child.

I had to make those comments on the condition of the women so that each of us is aware and we would do something to initiate change, in the right direction.

But was this purpose of the organizers or just an incidental learning? To me it just seemed like a meeting for the sake of completing a task; the learning from the meeting more accidental than planned.

My questions are these:

–          Why spend time to discuss a subject when we are going to do nothing about it afterwards?

–          Why do we invite speakers to a meeting without defining a purpose?

–          At the end of the meeting shouldn’t there is a few Calls to Action?

–          Shouldn’t speakers be aware of the needs of the audience?

The meeting was very thinly attended – it seems most members had decided to give it the skip; when I remarked about the low attendance to a committee member he glibly responded: “It’s not about the number of people in this room. Tomorrow all the people in Cochin will read in the paper or see on TV that we conducted a meeting on the subject. That is more important.”

That’s how I realized the true purpose of the meeting – show the world that “We care”!

The Press on their part took a few pictures and left couple of minutes into the Chief Guest’s address. They had got their sound bite!

Honestly it was distressing to see a meeting being conducted in this fashion.

Although Woman Power can be highlighted on just about any day of the year International Women’s Day provides everyone with an opportunity to celebrate it and to showcase achievements by women. That did not happen at this meeting.

I believe that a professional body needs to run meetings in a much more committed and purposeful manner. They should deliver a strong message which in turn compels members to take positive action.

  1. March 9, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I am really glad that the meeting and the lip-service there irritated you.
    You have the right attitude and intentions; you will initiate many changes in your milieu.
    Make sure many are for women.

    And yes, the purpose of meetings should be defined beforehand, and calls to action encapsulated later. Else, it is pointless.

    • JayadevM
      March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Shoba, thank you for the support and appreciation.

  2. shastry
    March 9, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Message well received

    • JayadevM
      March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am


    • JayadevM
      March 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Thank you for reading!

  3. March 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Dear Jaya devji
    i am Editor of feminist magazine Bhumika in Telugu.
    while browjing the net I saw your Art.
    we are taking out a special issue of bhumika.
    This is TWO DECADES special issue.
    can you permit us to use your painting in our special issue may be as cover page or inner cover page.
    i like your painting very much.
    you can give my mail to

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Hi Satyavati

      That is not my art. I can share the source with you if you tell me which picture.

  4. June 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm


    • JayadevM
      June 23, 2012 at 9:56 am


      That is not my work. You have to contact the artist directly for use.

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