Dubai: The world celebrates March 8 as International Women's Day. What comprises an ideal woman? That is a question which could be answered in so many ways. Is she smart, compassionate, beautiful or powerful? Some might expect her to clean the dishes and buy the groceries, while others want her to be strong enough to run a business. Gulf News readers discuss the various possibilities.

Most of the time, it would appear that women think they are perfect and as such, men might beg to differ. Gulf News spoke to its female readers to find out what they think makes an ideal woman.

Shamma Al Dabal, a 19-year-old Emirati said: "I personally think that each woman has her own unique essence that pervades all around and makes her ideal in her own way. There are no specific standards. As long as she works hard at whatever she is doing, then that is what I call ideal."

Apparently, this is an idea that women agree on, regardless of differences in culture and nationality.

Laila Kefayeh, a 19-year-old Palestinian-American said: "The ideal woman isn't defined by her occupation, but by her mentality, intelligence, and etiquette."

The ladies were asked whether there were certain characteristics which made one a better woman?

In Kefayeh's opinion, there exist certain musts for every woman in this modern day age.

She said: "A woman should be decent, have self confidence and self-respect. She should also be well informed in a wide variety of general topics and should be eloquent in her speech."

Strength of character - in today's fast-paced world - featured as another crucial point in the search to get women to define their perfect woman.

Sheryl Salvador, a 35-year-old Filipina reminds us of that.

She said: "An ideal woman is someone who stands firm in her belief regardless of the circumstances she is in. One who can not be easily persuaded by the influence of the world around her."

Motherhood also weighed in heavily.

Sujata Sardana, a 45-year-old Indian expatriate and a mother of two said: " It takes a lot of effort for a woman to be a well-educated good mother, teach her children the right morals and pass on the values that matter."

History behind Women's Day

Legend has it that the idea of an International Women's Day arose on March 8, 1857, in New York when women working in several different clothing factories decided to protest against their employers, demanding shorter working hours, a better salary and voting rights. They were soon dispersed by the authorities. However, similar protests occurred on the same date, in the following years.

Today, March 8 is marked globally as the International Women's Day to encourage the active participation and equality of women in society. Several events are held around the world to inspire women and their respective achievements.

Do you have any female role models in your life? How did they make a difference to you? Are there certain things that women can do better than men?

Your comments

I am a 30-year-old mother of two and a fashion designer by profession. A woman is the only person who can do multiple jobs at the same time with best results. She can be a good mother, good wife, good housewife and a good buissneswoman. She can manage time in the best way.
Shiba Khan
Posted: March 07, 2009, 13:49

Awesome article! All women are a role model of life, it does not matter how much they did but what they did, each is equal to herself. My beloved mother is my role model, for all she taught me, to carry me for 9 months inside of her and made of me what I am today. And taught me all the values to respect and to be respected. Motherhood in itself makes every single woman a role model to the world. Make yourself special not only tomorrow but all days of your life. Rememeber the song "WOMAN" from John Lennon, a wonderful tribute to all of us.
Posted: March 07, 2009, 11:26

She can be better in many things, I would like to bring my wife, who certainly has made a lot of difference in my life. She is intelligent, loving, God fearing, taking care of the entire family What else do you need?
Abdul Salam
Posted: March 07, 2009, 10:07

Though there are many women achievers around the world, my role model is my mother. She has instilled in me the qualities she possesses of which moral values are the foremost. Moral values enhance the strength of character of a woman and her confidence to face society and acquire her rights. A woman who can hold on to her values through every situation in her life and later pass it on to her children could be considered as a successful and ideal woman. Each woman has different qualities which make her unique and special. The society exists due to the inter-dependence of men and women. There are certain things that women do better then men and vice-versa.
Naina Nair
Posted: March 07, 2009, 08:09

This article was awesome! I have always looked up to my mother as she has carved me into what I am today. It has always surprised me how she has managed her family along with her occupation. Working mothers have to put up with a lot and yet they do so without many complaints. There are definitely certain things that women can do better than men.
Dona Veliyathuparambil
Posted: March 07, 2009, 07:30

Yes, my wife is woman role model SINDHU-her name,a computer engineer by education, helped her husband in business till he needed her, gave birth to 3 children and bringing them up with the RIGHT MORALS and VALUES and SPIRITUAL awareness(this can be given to children only when they are young, not in teens or when they are older than that. Today she is teaching women younger, her age and elder in SPIRTUAL ADVANCEMENT.She is yet only 39 and so busy with the spirtual education for herself, her classmates and the children in our building.
Rakesh Bohra
Posted: March 07, 2009, 01:43