The International Women’s Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is also a day where people come together to call for action to be taken towards ensuring gender equality in our communities, places of leadership, and in every aspect and sector of our economies.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. This theme is inspired by the fact that a challenged world is an alert world. And when we choose to challenge, we are able to inspire and effect tremendous change. This is why we are calling women, men, and people everywhere to challenge gender bias and all the negative stereotypes against women.
We can do that by challenging the status quo and changing our perception towards women. As people who seek change, we need to question the agelong stereotypes, societal norms, and archaic cultural beliefs that have held women back. We need to rewrite those unwritten laws and reorient ourselves and the members of our communities on the role of women in the political and socio-economic development of our communities, nations, and the world.
We need to start seeing women as humans who are capable of being the best that they can be. To do that, we should be inspired by women who have done great things in the past and women who are doing great things now. We should also look at women who have big dreams for the future and know that women can. Rather than try to put them down, we should encourage women to be the best that they can be. This is why we need to advocate for more women in leadership and to encourage more women to reach the pinnacle of their careers.
Of course, advocating for women in leadership doesn’t mean that competence will not be a requirement when you want to consider women for leadership roles. No. Rather it means that women should not be sidelined when they are qualified, they should be given their due.
As a woman, one of the things I do is to always make sure that I do my work well so that I will not close the door against anyone coming behind me. This is very important to me and I do my best to create a long-lasting impression. Over the years, I have heard some people say that they prefer to work with male colleagues because they seem to work harder and have more drive for achievement than women. Although you can’t say that for every woman, experiences tend to create certain biases in people’s minds. This is why women should endeavor to leave positive footprints wherever they go so that they won’t rob other women coming behind them.
Taking a stand on gender equality by choosing to challenge will also affect the way we raise our children and how we inspire younger generations. Rather than raising a generation that sees limitations, we will raise a group of girls and women that see endless possibilities. We will groom them to dream, think, collaborate and grow with their peers as equals. We will show them that women are humans and can be, learn, create or invent anything they want to be.
Gender Equality is everyone’s business. Hence, all hands must be on deck to advocate for and ensure that we create a world where women are free to live out their dreams and attain any heights they choose. By doing this and staying committed to it, we will shatter more glass ceilings and break the barriers restricting women from reaching their full potentials.
Do you want to see a gender-equal world? Celebrate women’s achievements. Lend a voice to the cause. Challenge negative stereotypes and take action for equality.
As we choose to challenge, we will see a better world for us all.
Happy International Women’s Day.