Every woman has a story to tell. Most women strive to balance their personal and professional lives and attain their dreams. This week, on International Women’s Day we will bring you stories of Indian women who got out and achieved those dreams. Arranging marriages and family functions are an adrenaline rush for most women and Liza Verma is no exception. But she turned it into a successful career and is the CEO of Quintessentially Events and Weddings. Here’s her take on all things femininity:
Do you think that with the onslaught of consumerism, Women’s Day has lost it’s sole objective? Elaborate.
While consumerism, has somewhat effected the essence of Women’s Day, and it has become another day in the marketing calendars of various brands and products to bring out ‘special’ offers, and celebratory packages.
However, I do feel that Women’s day was also all about empowering women, and establishing their independence in the political, social, and economic contexts. And all this consumerism, further highlights the pivotal role that women as consumers play, and how their decisions are being given equal regard.
Feminism back then meant acting like a male but it is evolving into balancing a woman’s beauty and brains. Do you believe you are a feminist at heart?
I am definitely a feminist at heart! I come from a family of strong willed women, and my mother was always very particular to ensure that her girls made something of themselves. At a young age I began my career as a model, and went on to balance work along with marriage, and children. I am proud of being my achievements, and having my own identity, along with that of my family.
Rapes, gender discrimination, dowry deaths, eve teasing etc. Everywhere women are being subjected to unfair treatment. Have you ever faced unjustified treatment as a woman?
Every twentieth century woman faces some form of harassment or the other in her day to day life. Moreover in the work place, we as women are exposed to various unfair situations where our being a woman is a problem with people. But I believe in setting people straight with my work, and never giving out the wrong signals.
What do you think the biggest feminism issue worldwide?
The biggest feminist issue worldwide, is gender equality. No matter how hard we try to educate, and empower, there is a certain sense of patriarchal chauvinism that always creeps in.
One issue you believe must be highlighted this women’s day?
Gender equality and respect for women is something that I would like to stress on this Women’s day. It is important to make the men of Indian society understand that they cannot get away with ill-treating a woman.
Which is an ideal song for this occasion?
‘I am Woman’ by Helen Reddy is a great song for all the women of the world. A more recent version of the song was also featured in ‘Sex and the City’ movie.
One law India desperately needs to introduce in favour of women?
The laws in India are severely behind the times. Can you believe that marital rape is not punishable according to Indian law, based on the fact that a married woman cannot legitimately deny sex to her husband. I with my father-in-law has been working to highlight the cause of acid attack victims in India. There is not one law, but I think a whole gamut of laws that is required to address all the heinous crimes against women in this country.
Any message for today’s women?
Today’s girls should always stay on their guard. Never be afraid, to scream, shout, make noise and ask for help. Hopefully someone will be sensible enough to help you. As the mother of a daughter myself, I believe a woman in this country can never be too careful, of what’s happening in her surroundings.