International Women’s Day

The only way is by internal transformation and dignity. The only way to lasting self-respect is through spirituality. If you base your self-respect on anything else, it can disappear”, by Liz Hodgkinson in conversation with BK Jayanti (Why women believe in God).

While I’m typing this blog, I notice that my Facebook wall is filling with messages about international Women’s Day….. People who are right now shouting so hard that it is important to respect women etc…are the one’s who closed their eyes and shut their mouths when it was so important to take a stand against injustice.

This year I’m not celebrating International Women’s Day, I’m in fact very unhappy and unsatisfied with the Indian/Sarnami community, which I’m also part of. By writing this blog I’m criticizing PIO and NRI (women’s) organizations, -most of them I know personally-, and I’m criticizing them for not taking sufficient actions. The community is keeping their appearance and I’m thinking of the amount of women that they could have easily helped if they hadn’t thought of their personal or political interests first.

Sure, this is a very strong statement, but I have to generalize to crack this phenomenon of words without actions. Honestly I’m not a cynic, but events that occurred in the last few month’s made me strongly doubt the sincerity of PIO/ NRI (women’s) organizations.

Why didn’t they raise their voices when a young girl got sexually harassed by the director of the Hindu Broadcast station (OHM) in the Netherlands, in December 2013? Once an article about this news got published in a national newspaper I posted it on my Facebook wall, which caused a chain of reactions. On Facebook most of the reactions where hopeful, but behind the curtains of the Facebook walls not a single organization took any action. Only individuals truly helped.  So, why is it that no women’s organization came forward to address this problem?

Months passed away, and not a single organization has publically requested for an update regarding this issue, the chief-editor hasn’t been replaced and Hindu and women’s organizations are keeping quiet. In stead they all continue with their daily activities, knowingly or unknowingly hushing up this important matter.

And I’m wondering… It’s so easy to condemn a society from a very far distance instead of reflecting on issues in the society we live in. It’s so easy to demonstrate against gang-rapes in India, but we do nothing against sexual intimidation in Holland. It’s so easy to organize screenings and debates regarding female infanticide, but it is so extremely difficult to ask for an open discussion for the conditions of young women that grow up in this community.

So do I see any valid reason to celebrate international women’s day? NO! I’m using this day to contemplate and to question myself: how can I transform myself and make myself capable to help another sister, restore her dignity, self-respect and fight injustice?


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