Growing up, I never thought I would one day celebrate being a woman. I hated it, being a woman that is. It brought with it too much pressure and expectations – things I knew I would never meet or satisfy. I wasn’t ready to go through the rigorous scrutiny and race for one to be declared a good woman. To be placed on the scale of beauty, respect, how well I carry out my chores, to always look together and dressed up – and for my success to ultimately be measured by the man I attract into marriage. I just wasn’t ready or built for such a race. But nonetheless, I had been placed into this race anyway. And what was left for me was hating what got me into such a race in the first place- being born a woman.
A lot has changed since then; a lot more is changing. Just like with any challenge, perceived or otherwise, being a woman has taught me a lot. The journey of identifying myself as a woman has led me through dark sleepless nights and bright sunny days. Through fighting pimples and dark spots(ugh) and wanting a particular hip waist ratio to basically just being flat out depressed about it all. Through moments of trying to fit in and failing at it. But here I am still, a proud woman. Soft to the core but courageous and daring still. Ready to mould the next generation of brilliant young women. That is what I am becoming from this journey.
A woman faces a lot of challenges everywhere just as men do, though arguably at different levels and scale. A lot more women are still on the journey of identifying themselves while others do not have the strength to even begin. But there is hope for all women. You do have the strength to conquer your fears, to rise above expectations and to stand tall on the highest mountain. You are a woman, and that is all you need. Be bold and discover what the world holds for you -beyond the expectation of mankind, beyond your imagination!
Happy International Women’s Day!