I celebrate Men on International Woman’s Day 2019

A common thread that gives me hope in a world suffering gender-bias are the stories that I gathered below.

Marathon began as a man’s sport. A gender-driven sport experienced the spirit of women in 1896 when Stamata Revithi chose to run the marathon and complete it. The story goes that a rich man on her journey gave her money and asked her to participate in the marathon to get famous. There is another interesting story tied to the Boston Marathon in 1967.

A person named K.V.Switzer got registered for the marathon. And, these were days when the registration process didn’t even bother to find out if the registrant was a man or woman. Because it was obvious that only men participated in marathons. When she started running, co-participants and the organizer dissuaded and mocked at her decision to run. It was not easy for her to continue on the track, but she did so. Her boyfriend and her brother guarded her along a certain path after she experience physical abuse. They ensured she fulfilled her will to complete the marathon. And, she did so in 4 hours and 20 minutes. She is Kathrine Switzer.

Indra Nooyi quoted in an interview that her father and grandfather encouraged and supported her decision to pursue her higher studies abroad. These were days when Indian women were not even considered fit to receive primary-level education.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, a Pakistani journalist, filmmaker, and activist is another international that I must quote. She was threatened with figures of herself in profane images, spray painted on the walls in response to her story that exposed the activity undertaken by the children of a few feudal lords in Pakistan. This happened on the day of Id, the most celebrated festival of the Islam. Her father who left the house for prayers came back to inform her about what he saw on the walls. He took a decision to take a group of people to wash out those images with paint. Instead of fearing the consequences, he said to Sharmeen, “ If you speak the truth, I will stand with you” . She went on to meet success as journalist and filmmaker and also be a recipient of two Academy Awards, six Emmy Awards and a Lux Style Award. Watch her movie that touched me: A Girl In The River and her talk that inspired me: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: Pakistan’s untold stories


Malala, who doesn’t know her. She is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She became “the most famous teenager in the world”. While she recovered the injuries caused by a bullet in her head, she also raved against the adversities caused by the Taliban. Her father also an education activist supported her all through the recovery and encouraged her to stir out a chain of schools for girls in Pakistan, and begin the Malala Foundation to support the education of these girls.

Every story that is mentioned above has in some form inspired me to be what I am. And, each story the women were back by men to fight against adversities and stand up for themselves. Infact, stand out. My grandfather has always been the storyteller in my life. Upon retrospection, I only remember his stories as my ten years of childhood. ‘Writing’ is the legacy that I received from my father. To keep it active and not lose my passion, my husband steps in each day to divide work and support me.

Why am I celebrating men on this day?

Well having to speak from the fortunate side of the story, I wish to offer my view on womanhood. Women or men. Men need us as much as we need them. The beauty lies in celebrating the “human story” and not just a story of gender.

Join the Celebration

Stay tuned for my first episode of the show ‘Chai with Author’, on Facebook Live at 11.00 am on Saturday, 9th March. This has everything to do with fictional characters and women protagonists from books authored in the Indian mythological age. Hear it from SaiSwaroopa, the young author who evolved from self-publishing to receiving her first offer from a publication. #Andthensunao. Join me here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/andthensunao/

P.S. If you thought I am gender-biased, read this: Passion to ‘learn’ passed on from 4 generations of motherhood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *