Today I want to talk about gender equality, as women’s rights to equality have been swept under the rug for decades and in some societies and communities, sadly, this is still the case.
The good news is this: it’s International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, the perfect opportunity to reflect on progress made, look back in time and celebrate acts of courage, perseverance and determination by ordinary women who’ve made an impact and inspired change in different ways.
Yes, we’re in 2020 and believe it or not, we’re still fighting for equality all over the globe!
Some girls in developing countries do not attend school and for some girls, they help out with household chores, look after younger siblings and sacrifice getting a good education, while boys in the family are given priority and a chance to go to school.
Just imagine what educating girls can do…
Educating girls reduces the rate of child marriage.
Educating girls promotes healthier and smaller families.
Educating girls improves wages and job prospects for women.
International Women’s Day focuses on the celebration and equality of women and here are some of the women who have helped us girls get to where we are today:
Florence Nightingale – a British nurse, cared for wounded soldiers during the time of the Crimean war (1853). She was an advocate for women’s rights in a time where women didn’t go to university or have professional careers but upheld more traditional roles.
Katherine Johnson – a black female space scientist and NASA mathematician who worked on early space missions with her mathematical mind. She inspired the film ‘Hidden Figures’ and upholds a legacy of excellence for breaking down social and racial barriers. Katherine died in February 2020 at the age of 101.
Michelle Obama – former First Lady of the United States and role model for girls and women around the world. She’s launched several education-based initiatives and continues to campaign for adolescent girls around the world to receive an education.
Malala Yousafzai – became an advocate for girls’ education and a women’s rights activist and survivor of a Taliban assassination attempt (2012) when she was just 15. She’s also the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.
Mom – she’s last on this list but far from the least. She supports her daughter’s dreams, encourages her to believe and dares her to try. She’s a cheerleader and champion, an inspiration, she draws out the best and gives grace to see past the worst. She loves unconditionally, celebrates my wins and offers gentle words of wisdom and advice for my failings. She’s simply the best and mom, I salute you!
When we think about our roles in society and in different industries of work, men and women are judged differently. International Women’s Day started in 1911 so we’ve come a long way but we might still have a long way to go in the fight for gender equality. But the female pioneers above have shown us how women’s rights in society are already changing.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.