Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women’s Day – we must work to negate this need

In my proposal for the new Constitution, I do not see any difference between human beings, be they male or female, black or white, Tamil or Sinhala, gay or heterosexual, differently abled and the chronically sick. We owe it as a civilized country to treat all these people equally, however much this concept is alien to the older generation, but quite normal to the young! Marking this day, is a patronizing step, but then if I fight it, I may have half the Country scalp me, until they understand why I made this statement in the first place!

In that vein we must strive at all costs to realize that the need for a Women’s day is unnecessary, or if it is then there should also be day allocated to men. Making no one special or everyone special.

If our society feels there is a need to empower women, then as a society we have failed our women, and it is not equality of women or parity that we must seek, but enable women to achieve their goals, making womanhood, not a barrier to this vision!

This same concept must apply to all those others classed collectively as minorities, being OLD, Child, Differently abled, Veddhas, Christians, or whatever classification one wants to defend at the time. It is surprising that our adult population, still don’t get it, that there are NO minorities anymore, only those who conform to certain norms of good behavior and those that do not, who are playing their part to create division, or harm society’s equilibrium.

In the short term therefore, action plans must be set in place, to eliminate these differences. What they are must be determined by reason, not by equality. To take a typical example, to make this point: I am now aware that 65% or two thirds of undergraduates following courses in Agriculture, are women. Is that fair? If so why? Are those who will become farmers, or farming advisers going to be women in future, and is that why it is permitted, or is it because that based on the A level results a high proportion of women were ONLY able to get into this Faculty? If you ask these women if they will follow a career where their degree course is relevant, 90% will say NO.

This simple illustration, gives the reader an indication of why positive discrimination policies don’t work, as it does not achieve society’s objective in ensuring a right balance. “Hakiyawata Rakiyawak”. It is being color blind to all differences that we must try and adopt, rather than see ads that say, only under 35 should apply! Everyone has some ability, it is identifying their strength that society should attempt, and try and encourage that to pursue a vocation, or to improve one’s self.

As a start, I recommend we pick, train, and recruit social workers from women to go to the hinterlands, and empower them with a can do attitude, that’s enough, they will then find their niche. The numbers needed are 50,000, and is a good part time job for the stay at home mums, who currently do not work, and not add pressure, to already hard pressed economy that cannot find workers for over 250,000 vacancies.

I hope therefore that this much acclaimed women's forum, meeting for the first time today, will come up with a positive suggestion such as what I have made to enable this process, and thereby NEGATE THE NEED FOR A WOMEN'S DAY.    

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