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Wore Pink and Took Back the Streets..

I just came from may be one of the most inspiring programs I have ever attended. I am still thinking “I wish there was something more.” The program was dedicated to all women of the world and to celebrate the women power through speeches, presentations and drama. Honestly, I have no words to describe how thought-provoking and inspiring it was to see everyone together rejoicing the reality of being a woman. I met with Malali Joya from Afghanistan. I met Aung Sang Suu Kyi from Myanmar. I met Parijat from Nepal. And at one point I met myself. A poem recited by one of the teachers that was dedicated to all women made me speechless. Seeing our male teachers on the stage showing their support for women was very inspiring. They sang song of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. While many women might have been being harassed, abused and some even killed around the world, we were celebrating our day, the WOMEN’s day. But, I was privileged to at least realizing these social truths while listening to some stories of hope, struggle, faith and perseverance.

Prior to the program, we had a march out on the street. We wore pink today. Though it is the so called most-anti-feminist color, it did not matter because we wanted to show our unity with the color that society recognizes as ‘feminine color’. It was not symbol of anything but our unity. In street of Bangladesh, where we rarely find women walking with chin up and fearless, we walked with burning candles in our hand singing songs of “Women United, Never Divided.” We had our face up, courageous mind and high voices against staring eyes and yelling Hi and Hellows of curious-ignorant-dominating-carefree men. It was a real great experience to me, and I believe for people on the street as well. Women all around, chanting and lifting their candles high…Some men might have ignored the fact because they were busy. Some might have told people nearby that we have gone mad…these women! Some might even have noticed all women of different colors: white, albino and black…American, Bangladeshis, Chinese, Afghanistanis, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Indians… and Some might have had no idea what was going on because most probably they did not know today was women’s day because they are too busy figuring out what the women in their house will cook if they don’t earn much today. We took the streets tonight and ruled it for about 30 minutes. All those fractions of time, we had a sense of victory and we did not care for what people shouted, yelled at us or murmured among them. We were happy at least we could make our voices heard.

Today, I thought of my mother who might be sleeping at this time, when her daughter is contemplating thoughts on status of women around the world. This day means nothing for my mother but the way she was raised me and shared her wisdom, she matters a lot to me on this day. I also thought of women in my country, most of whose voices have been silenced. This day does not matter to them as well but they matter to me because I believe I represent them in my works and words. Lastly, I thought of those women all around the world for whom this day might have no meaning because they have so many chores and works to do rather than celebrating women’s day. Then I thought may be celebrating women’s day by organizing a program or social gathering and talking about inspiring women is just a beginning. The real beauty of this day’s celebration lies in every woman of the world and in their hearts. I believe women’s day will truly be a success only when each and every woman in the world knows how important they are and the importance of this special day.

P.S I could not stop myself from writing. Sorry this is too long.

South and Central Asia
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