Today is March 8, 2019, and the world is celebrating International Women’s Day. Social media platforms are flooded with wishes that highlight the importance of women and how they should be encouraged to follow their dreams.

For this year, the United Nations’ theme for International Women’s Day is: “Think equal, build smart, Innovate for change”. It aims to create a more gender-balanced world.

While we take a day to recognise the contribution of women in society, let us take a look at the opinions available to women writers and entrepreneurs as they talk about feminism, women empowerment and the contribution of women in our everyday life.

Shriti Chhajed, Founder of BookEventz: “Bringing dreams to life is everybody’s right. Women should in no way take a back seat at the cost of her added responsibilities. More and more women are succeeding in their careers and it is a fact that they are multi-taskers. So, just hear your own voice, go out and make it work!”

Jyotsna Uttamchandani, Executive Director, Syska Group: “Today, women have made significant contributions across fields, whether it is in education, business, sport, entrepreneurship, armed forces or politics. Women have been consistently breaking traditional barriers and taking steps towards a transformational future. In traditional family-run businesses, where women had minimal to no role, we are now seeing a shift where women are taking up leadership positions to advance the businesses to new heights. We strongly believe that women leaders are the future and with their multi-tasking abilities they ready to rule the world. Today, I want to take this opportunity to wish a very Happy Women’s Day to all these Queens, wearing invisible crowns, who rule our world!”

Reshma K Barshikar, investment banker, columnist and author of bestselling The Hidden Children and Fade Into Red: “I feel like there seems to be a new war afoot, a constant struggle to define feminism – lipstick feminism, second generation feminism, ecofeminism, all of which only seem to undermine our singular goal- equal rights for both sexes. Equal pay, equal access to education and jobs, and a future devoid of sexual exploitation of both women and men, and yes focus on the girl child. As of 2017, 15 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 have experienced forced sex in their lifetime. We need to cut through the noise and the t-shirt slogans and remember many of us are privileged and the fight is far from over.”

Rashmi Joshi, vocalist, yoga trainer and author of Here and Beyond: “Feminism is a term not to be used loosely. It implies, battling injustice, breaking out of punishing patriarchal mindsets and the right to dignified living. I’ll go a step further and urge more and more men to become feminists, their help will go a long way in establishing a secure environment for women, which currently is not the case. Powerful voices are now being heard by women writers on varied subjects ranging from science to spirituality. It exposes the world to a completely different dimension. Sensitive, spontaneous and passionate – a brew essential for impactful writing, which she has abundance of.”

Preethi Menon, Vice President – Enterprise applications, Clover Infotech: “I have always believed in myself and my enthusiasm for businesses. I became interested in technology because of my curiosity and solution-driven nature. I feel more and more young girls should be encouraged and empowered to pursue a thriving career in technology. There are two ways to look at technology – one for itself and the many pleasures of solving the unsolvable and the other as a means to the end – that allows businesses to start, prosper and contribute to the larger good of the society. I derive satisfaction from facilitating businesses to leverage technology solutions that besides maximizing the return on investments opens up new realms of possibilities.”