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,