I cannot fully comprehend what it takes to be a woman; I can only imagine. What it takes to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, niece, sister-in-law, aunt, etc. Taking up different roles yet you are one person. The 8th of March every year is never enough to celebrate you as an amazing amazon – a lifetime seems fair enough. I celebrate the W today and every other day because circumstances sometimes conspire to make you take the L but in our nascent history, you have found your voice. They have tried to define you but you choose to go high every time they go low.
I write to remind you that you’re a genius – that there is more to you than lips, hips, and fingertips. You are more than just domestic chores. You’re not another piece of furniture. You are an incubator; you are a life-giver. You don’t just bring forth babies, you also birth intelligent children. You bring the much needed balance to the universe. You amplify everything given to you and share the increase with your world. I recognize that and I appreciate that.
They say you’re the weaker sex. That assessment may not necessarily be incorrect; it’s just incomplete. What they really meant to say is that you’re the more delicate sex. You were built for a unique purpose and as such, everything about you had to be sensitive. Even science confirms that you have more nerve receptors. Those who say you are weak should watch you give birth and respect the strength that it takes to withstand such threshold of pain. You’re much stronger than you know!
Don’t let them confine you to the bedroom, I need you more in the boardroom. Not just to be in the room or to make up the numbers but at the table – making decisions. You have had to be at the receiving end of decisions – other people determining what they think is best for you. People who don’t know what it means to be you trying to tell your story. Telling you what to do with your body, how to think, what to wear, where to be, what to do and policing your entire existence. You need to flip the script or – like Drake will say – flip the switch.
I need you in politics, in leadership positions – not just as the cavalry when it’s time to mobilize votes in elections. Nobody will have your interest more than you will – don’t let them shave your beautiful hair in your absence. I need you to write more, talk more – nobody will tell your story better than you. I need you in the high echelons of the economy, education, religious circles – to fight the systematic culture of repression and discrimination. I said fight because it won’t be given on a platter; the status quo isn’t that generous.
It will take an entire village. If ever there was a time to intelligently aggregate yourselves into groups, integrate your networks and consolidate your circles, that time is now. Bring your numbers to bear; it’s time to go farther together, not alone. Make your case and the world will listen. These changes will not be an event but a process; not overnight but over time. A turning-point-generation just needs to pioneer the movement and do it for posterity. I know you are that generation. You can do it, you will do it and you must do it.
So dear amazing woman, thank you once again. It’s tough to be you in what has been dubbed a man’s world – a place I don’t want to live in without you! On a lighter note, hope you know that not all men are scum? Some of them just misrepresent us and make us look bad. Those of us with good heads on our shoulders are your biggest cheerleaders. We are rooting for you, we want to build a better world – better families, better businesses and better countries with your collaboration. Like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie opined, we should all be feminists.
Each For Equal. No gender is at any disadvantage; never see yours as such. It is time for us to stand up and be counted. It’s time for institutions to back up the big talk with big actions. Everyone deserves equal opportunities; none should be preferred or discriminated against owing to their gender.
There are some glass ceilings that you have completely shattered, there are others you have merely scratched. The race to those heights is never a sprint but a marathon because it continues even after you hand over the baton. You just have to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.
“Women progress is human progress. Confronting the contemporary challenges facing women is one of the biggest unfinished business of the 21st century.” – Hillary Clinton