I choose to Honor, The Woman!

Saum Idd
Posted March 8, 2021 from Kenya
I choose to honor ME!
I choose to honor ME!: Where there are women, there's magic! Happy Women's Day to all my power women. (1/3)

On this International Women's Day- #ChooseToChallenge

I choose to challenge what the world thinks and believes to be my capabilities as a woman.

I wear many hats; mother, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, advisor, confidante, acquaintance, founder, leader the list goes on. Yet, even with all these titles I'm reduced to these three words: Not good enough.

I'm also aware of these words that are used to describe me- Average. Almost go it. Can't do it, ever! Don't measure up. Not what I was expecting. Your beauty doesn't match your intelligence. Be seen but not heard. This is no space/ field for a woman. But you're a woman. Women are not supposed to do this or that. The list is endless.

Women have, over the centuries, been in the frontlines as leaders. They have led their families and communities with notable contributions that are not acknowledged or celebrated enough. We have always fought to be seen and heard and now more than ever, we fight for us to be treated as equals and the oppressive structures and systems dismantled. 

Younger women have grown up knowing they are not enough, that they have to make peace with being special to a certain degree to be accorded respect and a chance to serve and lead. That the nearest they can be to their goals is through approval and likeability, that they have to be confident but not come off strong, that they have to be smart but not too pretty, that they have to be read and still accept meagre pay compared to their male counterparts. That they have to be passionate but also smart, emotional but not show anger. Women are always on the measuring scale of something and that's no way to live.

Women don't have to be aggressive or literally go hard for them to be respected or heard, these are fundamental human rights. They don't have to conform to society's old expectations of them. That is why, for this years theme on IWD #ChooseToChallenge, I choose to challenge thoughts and systems that hold women back. Just like the male gender, opportunities should be readily available for women, spaces of leadership, equal pay, fundamental human right and much more. Today we celebrate a day meant  for us. It means the world is watching and slowly realizing what we can be even with or without inhibitions and a set of rules and expectations.

Before today, I didn't pay so much attention to what this day meant, but having gone through so much as a woman, and being a mother of a girl, I now know better. I have to embrace my truths and live fully. I have to raise my voice and express myself, and stand up for myself. That I shouldn't live in fear or play small. 

I should shine, I should thrive, I should be seen and counted. That I MATTER. 

I now understand why it's important to #ChooseToChallenge. And I choose to challenge;

1. Patriarchal systems

2. Structures and systems that don't support gender equality

3. Unequal opportunities for women

4. Equal pay for women

5. Spaces of leadership in all fields for women

6. Women to be invited/ to be offered a seat where decisions concerning them are made

7. Equal representation of women in the media and all fronts

8. Women to be treated as decent human beings

9. Inhuman and barbaric practices against women to come to an end

10. Documenting and preservation of women stories and accomplishment in the media and through history

11. That women are honored, valued and respected despite where they come from

So dear woman, you are enough! Believe that! Be just that, ENOUGH! 

Soar higher, without fear

#ChooseToChallenge all the inhibitions that you have encountered as you rise. Women who came before you will be so proud but most importantly, the younger generation can look up to you for inspiration and encouragement.

Happy International Women's Day, Magic beings!

What are you #ChooseToChallenge. Engage with me in the comments.

 

Love and Light,

Woman

This story was submitted in response to #HerStoryMakesHistory.

Comments 9

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Paulina Nayra
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dear Saum,
Firstly , I love your post. Secondly, the number of mindsets that you wish to transform is challenging but it can be done. With the World Pulse sisters, we will make our voices heard and challenge those anti-women . You'll find allies here who are willing to walk with you in your path for they, too have experienced more or less the same.
Please don't get tired of writing here.
Huggs.
Paulina

Saum Idd
Mar 09
Mar 09

Dear Paulina,
Thank you for your encouraging response, it means so much to me. I have a goal, far fetched but I know in my heart there will be a time that the younger generation will not know, and have to go through the struggles that we have gone through to achieve gender equality and to be able to live freely without being put in a box. A world where they will fully thrive and not merely survive. That time is coming, because women and me and you and the sisters here believe it and working towards making it a reality.

With Love,
Saum

Phinnie
Mar 08
Mar 08

Saum--What a profound essay and I appreciate your honesty and sharing of thoughts of self-doubt and "I am not enough" in all its various messages that we women often hear throughout our lifetimes. We are more than enough and with our caring, empathic, encouraging spirits we know it is not just about our own success but we remain invested in our sisters' success and realization of personal dreams. You are truly an inspiration!

I choose to challenge my own thoughts about why something is not possible without really exploring possibilities with passion and determination and a willingness to reach out for support! Thank-you and Happy International Women's Day!

Saum Idd
Mar 09
Mar 09

Hello Phinnie,
Thanks for sharing what what you wish to challenge- OUR THOUGHTS. That is where it all begins. As long as women think they are incapable, they become just that, incapable. We are both challenging our mindsets, I also struggle with that from time to time but I keep reminding myself of the possibility of getting it done and the thought of the outcome being great gives me the tenacity to keep going.
I also like what you said- our fighting spirit as women and investing in our sisters is what makes us better leaders and its what keeps us going.
Thank you Phinnie, your words are life.
Love,
Saum

Phinnie
Mar 09
Mar 09

Saum, thank-you for your kind, supportive encouragement! My wish is that all of us women on World Pulse can inspire others to set and reach higher goals for the good of our worldwide sisters!

Saum Idd
yesterday
yesterday

And I'm here for the inspiration dear Phinnie

Nini Mappo
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dada Saum :)
I love your essay, and I love the pen-off as we used to call it during the 'composition' and letter writing days: Woman. It is apt and inclusive because your story is the story of all of us. The list you challenge is the one we challenge. We feel the injustices, the dismissals, the exclusions. Thank you for writing our story so vulnerably and eloquently :)

Saum Idd
Mar 09
Mar 09

Dada Mappo,
U hali gani dada? Asante kwa kuchangia kwa insha yangu na kutoa maoni yako kwa ukamilifu. Tuna mengi kama wanawake ambayo tunaweza tia mhanga yabadilike ili kizazi kijacho kisipitie dhulma ambazo tumepitia... na maandishi yangu na hisia zangu ni kweli manake napitia hizi dhulma kila siku nikiwa kazini, nyumbani, mtaani, yaani kila mahali. I'm glad it resonates with what other women go through, and it needs to change. The future looks so bright for us and those coming after us.

Love,
Saum

Nini Mappo
Mar 09
Mar 09

Weuh :) Kiswahili mufti wakinyoosha kweli kweli (makofi***). Mimi mtu wa sheng kashangazwa na usanifu huo nabaki tu mdomo wazi He hee
Ahsante dada, nafurahia kusoma hotuba yako muhimu na fupi!

And now I have this song in my head: "nipe changu haki yangu, usininyanyase... Dhulma dhuluma..... Usinidhulumu" , inspired by your use of the word 'dhulma', but the song also echoes the injustices we challenge as women. Even art speaks for us!

Love and hugs back :)