At this time of the year we remember women all over the world, as we commemorate International Women’s Day. According to unwomen.org the (IWD 2022) theme is gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. United Nations women appreciate, as we all know, women’s involvement in climate change issues. 2022 running campaign theme is BreakTheBiias (www.internationalwomensday.com).
The article seeks to highlight women’s inequalities in society as well as celebrating women’s achievements globally. Reminding women to believe. The aim is to encourage women globally to exercise their freedoms, to speak against unfair practises.
Women still face gender discrimination at work, health, and so on. Women are asking for equal pay. They want the same opportunities. The right to salaries, equal wages and pay that they deserve. Single mothers struggle to pay for child care, for instance, also holding on to their job and not overstaying their maternity leave. On maternity leave the pay reduces. Women are trying to live exemplary lives so make their kids proud, by showing them work pays. All they need is support. Discrimination on child bearing women, whereby good positions go to male counterparts as they don’t have to take a lot of maternity days is very common.
Globally, women are experiencing the blunt side of environmental degradation. In some cultures, women stay at home, looking after the children, tending the house chores, gardening and so on. It is a very challenging environment trying to find firewood , fetch water, while operating in extreme hot and humid conditions.
Droughts, flooding and other environmental issues are being experienced in some parts of the world. It’s usually women, because of being child minders, who think on their feet about how to preserve the scarce resources. In remote parts of the world, where there’s no electricity and modern coms, looking after nature in order for nature to look after us is part of life.
Information awareness has given a push for good to women globally. Gender inequalities are in all walks of life. For instance, young women in developing and some developed countries are still fighting for reproductive rights. Some communities have no hospitals. If a community manages to get a clinic or health centre, it’s usually not well equipped. Just imagine an expecting mother being told to bring their own PPE, personal protective gear like gloves, water, methylated spirit, sanitary pads and all that. This is happening in areas where resources are scarce, where government and council health centres have no money and where corruption is rife. As it is, the health worker trying to get on with her job is frustrated, passing on stress to patients. We all expect health centres to be well equipped to assist women and the community. But that’s not always the case.
Safe counselling for teenage mothers is often non-existent or not budgeted for. To this day you get people who still believe if a girl gets pregnant they’re not of good stock. If a lady is raped, it’s her fault or you asked for it. Depending on how one is dressed, a short skirt, tight clothing, make-up, ‘you enticed the fella.’‘ But its okay for a fella walking around with his belly and chest exposed. These are seen as girls from the other side of society, with no table manners. An old mindset that doesn’t achieve much. Nothing much is mentioned about the man who planted the seed. They don’t think of it as sexual harassment young ladies go through,, rape and so on. Morally corrupt establishments are allowed to operate. Girls and women who visit them are frowned upon, imprisoned. In some cases the law is an arse if in favour of the perpetrator. Impressionable young women who are told by their abusers that ‘you’re going to be my proper girlfriend,’ and believe it. The adult is only given a slap on the wrist. Regardless of our professions, most women are are trying to get the best for them and their kids and families. We don’t stop to ask why somebody is into prostitution, or worse. We judge them. Gentlemen’s clubs are not mentioned. With social media, some women are earning double the money in half the time from these websites. They don’t want to be saved. They’re being spoilt, drinking expensive champagne and receiving expensive gifts. Some of us with ‘proper’ jobs we’re doing three jobs, not even affording to buy a pair of shoes. We can’t all be do goodies!
No safe houses either.
No sex education.
Inequalities are wide and deep. Nevertheless, we have tools at our disposal, like freedoms.
Hold fast to your freedoms
You can’t live your life afraid of who you are.
Maybe you are contemplating a difficult situation like divorce. If that is the only option then grab it. But if it’s divorce because of something minor, remember that there’s no perfect husband or perfect wife. Problems arise in relationships and its not always easy or smooth sailing. It doesn’t mean that when two people come together then everything is easy.. If people could tell you their truths, you’ll count yourself as one of the blessed or lucky ones. If your situation is unbearable, you’re the only one who’s living it and knows your truth. Girlfriend, you have a choice. Exercise your freedom to move away.
Don’t try to change him or her. That person is whom they are. You can correct, advice, add on, subtract, but change its impossible. Otherwise you both become miserable. Give each other freedoms to become yourselves. It is only God who can change someone.
Faith is the only way to get through things..
I’m not saying put your life on a back burner, no, get in do what needs doing but don’t blame your other half for preventing you to do things you want to do.
Forced marriages, yes still occur under the radar. To this present day people are still marrying into families for financial gain. I’m not talking about gold diggers, but a son marrying a girl to gain what was lost by a father. Marrying into a family that destroyed the guy’s family and vice versa. It ends up being an idealist reunion rather than love. We all have choices and freedoms. I’m aware its not always easy in some cultures and communities. In some cases it is challenging to exercise our freedoms, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Keep at it.
A big thank you to women’s organisations, at grassroot, national, regional and international level for spearheading women’s issues. Thank you to all public figures, celebrities and media for a running commentary on girls, women and families.
I am thankful always.
Thank you ladies for giving me the freedom to be myself.
- freedom that as a victim I can take back control
- freedom that I can achieve the dreams in my heart
- freedom that I can achieve so much more if I keep at it
- freedom that there are all possibilities
- freedom that I can make a difference
- freedom that I am able to accomplish a lot of things in this life.
- freedom that if I have a dream I can do it
- freedom that if I have a vision I can achieve it
- knowing that I’m not alone God is on my side
- that a woman must dress first and foremost for her own pleasure
We are talking about: ‘breaking the bias towards women, imagining a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated,’ (www.internationalwomensday.com).
This can be achieved by challenging the bias. Speaking out. Sharing news and information. Connectivity. Education and awareness. Continuous repetition of the message until we are understood. Silence is not an option.
Use the freedoms you have.
Practice and practice.
Practice makes perfect.
Happy International Women’s Day everybody.