Today is celebrated as International Women’s Day in many countries. Each year, we remember the lives and struggles of women on various walks of life and we celebrate the spirit and strength of women. As much as we may agree that women deserve to be loved and celebrated every day, there is something special about Women’s Day. Research indicates that International Women’s Day has been celebrated since 1900’s as the world was waking up to radical ideologies and discourses. Women have played a crucial and meaningful role in history, politics, literature since the beginning of time yet it took several thousands of years to identify the oppression and inequality of women.
I have admired a lot of women as I grew up and continue to be awed by many. Freedom, strength, beauty, courage, respect, love, dreams, intellect and commitment are the words that strike me when I think of women that inspire me each day. As I grew up, I was taught to be independent, to think, to make decisions, to be discerning, to enjoy the simplicity of life, to be angry when I witnessed injustice, to be generous, to have fun, to protect myself and to be a person that smiled with the world. My upbringing has played a crucial role in making me a confident and an outspoken woman with a mind of my own. Our childhood and adulthood have been modelled and influenced by many people and experiences. I have big dreams for women to be accepted and treated with respect by society and I know that each one of us has to work very hard to make this happen.
With these hopes and experiences, how do we understand International Women’s Day? Is it just a day of celebration? Is it a day to remind us of our strengths and struggles? Is it a day of hope for women to be treated with dignity and respect? Is it a day for empowerment? What should be the role of Women’s Day in today’s context?
I hope each of you will be able to share your comments so we have a wide spectrum of responses and there will be a space for us to read each other. Women should continue to inspire and be inspired!