Career Mindset

Should We Celebrate National Women’s Day?

National Women’s Day – should we celebrate it?

On the 19th of March, almost 110 years ago to the day. A Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. Unfortunately, this promise for the beginning of women equality was not kept. The International Women’s Day date was then moved to March 8 in 1913.

It was not until the UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.

So why should we celebrate it?

Well firstly, according to the UN:

  • 2.7 billion women across the planet are still legally restricted from being able to enter the same jobs as men.
  • Less than 25% of parliamentarians are women
  • One in three women still experience gender based violence.
  • In fact there is not 1 country in the world that has actually achieved gender equality.

But I think there’s a deeper and more personal point we can take away…

The Inspirational Women of History

It’s easy today to idolise the celebrities, the divas, the artists and the goddesses of pop culture. However I feel that it’s even easier to give ourselves the excuse that there is something innate about them that we ourselves can’t quite achieve ourselves and in doing so, stops us taking the action that allows us to explore our own magic.

Why is that important?

When we look back in history and look at the list of women who changed the world, what I love is that we very rarely admire these women for being extraordinary, they’re not other worldly humans who achieved the impossible. The moment we look at figures such as Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey or the activist Malala. There isn’t some natural gift unique to these individual that allowed them to stand above the rest that we watched in unobtainable awe. Instead they were ordinary women who did extraordinary things.

And it all started with just one thing…

A decision.

From Victimhood to Agents of Change

A decision to no longer be a victim of their environment but instead become the creator of their circumstances.

When Rosa Parks got on thus that day she could have moved.

When Malala was shot in her head, she could have lead a quiet life.

When Oprah was sexually abused repeatedly from the age of 9 by family members, she could have continued down the path of the victim.

But instead…

Roas Parks became known as “the first lady of civil right” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

Malala became the nobel peace prize winner dedicated to educating the 130 million women outside of schools today.

Oprah became the personality and spiritual leader the world knows today.

What does this mean for us?

Despite it not being our fault as women that our current situation of inequality is the reality; It is still our responsibility to make a difference.

Is there currently a glass ceiling just above your head? Do you feel stuck in a circumstance that you know deep down just isn’t acceptable? Is there something within your own life that you know you’ve been putting off for the risk of discomfort?

In conclusion, I believe that today isn’t just a day to celebrate women and bring awareness to current inequality; but instead be a reminder to ourselves that any women, any one who may currently feel “ordinary” , has the capability and responsibility within them to do the extraordinary.

So what decision do you know you need to make next?

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