International Women’s Day 2021

Today is the International Women’s Day 2021 and the Theme for this year is Choose to Challenge. The focus is about choosing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, and you can read more about this here. Every time we challenge an inequality, there is resistance and sometimes a backlash, but change has always been the result in the end. This year is no different.

I think the challenge for us is twofold. First we must challenge ourselves as women and secondly we must challenge the world together. How do we handle the first part? We must challenge ourselves not to accept any limitations placed over us by society or self-imposed. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. We feel we are not good enough. Sister, you deserve a place at that table. Your voice needs to be heard in that conversation. You have something to offer. You have a valid and valuable contribution to make to the advancement of your society, wherever that may be. The world has told us ‘No’ for so long, and that we should stay down. We have sabotaged ourselves long enough. “A female is not as good as a male”. “A female is on the way out and so of no value to the family, only a son stays”. Well we have had daughters who have broken this myth and have lifted up their families with so much pride in the world today.

When we were growing up, we were told that daughters are just trained to be married, so no need to invest that much in them. Now, we are the mothers of this present generation, we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us teach our daughters how to take a stand in their generation and make positive impact; teach our daughters that they are as valuable as our sons.  No child is less worthy.

We also must choose the narrative of women helping women to succeed. It should not be a case of “If I cannot have it, then no one else will”. We must not tear down each other’s efforts. Individually the world may push us back down, but together we are an unbeatable force. Watch out for that sister on your team but don’t support nonsense.

Now to the second part of us challenging the world, let me repeat that this is a feat we must do together. I know we always say change is inevitable and a part of life, but when it comes to women’s rights you will notice that change may be inevitable but it comes slower than a snail. Nevertheless, we keep pushing. Society’s response to female rights at the workplace, in the boardroom, in the market places, on campuses, and on the screen, needs to change. Let us help them change the narrative by refusing to comply with their stereotypical narrative of the female that is insecure, irrational, confused, inefficient and unable to lead. All females cannot be defined by social media as unserious, scantily-clad, twerking, self-loving, vain, manipulative and materialistic beings. Nahh!

For our sisters who have climbed the ladders in their various fields, we say please keep a place for us at the table by your actions. For those who have managed to get a foot in the door, do not enter and slam the door shut behind you, others need the same chance you had. Mentor younger ones behind you, let them tap from your wealth of wisdom and experience. Be that voice that urges them on, for you know how hard your own journey was and still is.

For our big sisters, mothers and grandmothers who have managed to blaze a trail in their time with all the opposition, who refused to settle for less and kept fighting for more, we say we will not let you down, we will keep choosing to fight for a better world for our own daughters and sons to live in. We know our worth. We know we have different contributions to make to the advancement of society in the home, the economy of a nation, its political sphere, and its social development. No society has ever lost, that allowed its women to rise. So to all my sisters out there, I say they do not know what is coming. Keep Rising, Keep Climbing. Keep Reaching. Keep Challenging. Change is coming. We are the Change!


picture credits: the internet

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