Today, March 08 is international women’s day. It is a day set aside by the international community including the United Nations (UN) and several countries around the world to “celebrate” women. It is a day to recognize the importance of women, a day to raise awareness about discrimination against women, a day to recognize women’s struggles in society, unique challenges, a day to fight against sexism and a day to promote equal rights and equal opportunities for women and girls. It is a day of recognition, a day of celebration and a day of protest also against all forms of discrimination and injustices against women.

Whilst this day is quite well recognized worldwide and symbolizes progress in women’s advancement, there is still a lot of work still ahead. Around the world, women and children continue to be suppressed, mistreated, dominated over and abused in so many ways. In some cultures, women are denied many rights, opportunities and dismissed as less human. Discrimination against women costs women their rights to life, health and access to property and basic freedoms.

Being a woman in and of itself at times give some people and societies a right to disrespect women and mistreat women. There are some people who believe being a woman makes someone have a less mind or brain. Boys and men are often favoured as intelligent by default while women are dismissed as “emotional”, “weak” and their opinions deemed unimportant. But is that really true?

To some people, having male organs grants such individuals a sense of entitlement to bully, “lead”, dominate and repress the opposite sex. Much of this is based on ancient notions or grounded in religious doctrines or cultural beliefs. But is that really supported by any real knowledge or evidence?

Men have always led, had unfettered advantages. They have benefited from male dominated societies, institutions and structures largely created largely by men themselves to favour them. In the meantime, women have always been alive and have always accepted the subservient or “helping role” they have been handed. In reality, women have played an equal role in society since ancient times. In some cases women have played bigger and indispensable roles (albeit not as credited). Have men ever survived without women? In any situations?

In my opinion, men and women are have their strengths and weaknesses. Each gender has its role. Being born male or female or whatever should not be grounds for suppression, humiliation or denial of rights. Each person can be great in their own way through their strengths and capabilities. A boy should not be treated better or favoured than a girl child. They should be supported, guided, and be given opportunities based on need not by gender. One shouldn’t be given more chores while the other be privileged or be given more opportunities to play or study. And yet the less favoured be blamed for a lower performance or outcome?

Being males should not give people any right to talk down on women. Being a male does not automatically make a man more intelligent or emotionally stronger. What we become does not depend on genetics and biology alone but our nurturing, our exposures, education, knowledge, understanding, experiences, health, mental state, brain power and so many other favours shape our minds, attitudes and capabilities. We as women when given opportunities can become what we are men to be.

What gives some men the right to tell us we cannot enjoy the same freedoms, power and opportunities they fully enjoy? What makes so many men threatened? What are people afraid of?
One thing I can say is that the world would not be what it is without women. We are capable of many things. Some women are as mentally and physically strong if not stronger than some men. It should not be up to men or others deciding what women should or not do. Women are very capable of determining what they themselves can do. We are humans with perhaps the same brain size and should not be underestimated. We should decide what happens to our bodies and our assets; others should not be deciding for us.

On this international women’s day, I entreat those who have ancient and preconceived notions to change their beliefs, attitudes and assumptions about women. Know the person’s worth. Do not put all women in one box. Do not underestimate women. Do not determine our lives for us. Let us have an equal playing field and have us compete equally. Let it be a natural selection not humans obstructing us.

Let’s have equal opportunities and let nature decide. As women, we are resilient. This has gone on for thousands of years so it will take many more to catch up so don’t be surprised that we have not caught up. We have only be recognized in just a about a hundred years.

We are not in to overtake anyone. We just want to be left alone and not be dominated over or suppressed.

For the men who have known and accepted women’s important contributions we cherish you also. You know yourselves and truly believe in your own strength and aren’t threatened by our strength or advancement. We thank you such brave and confident men for standing with us. We thank you for believing in your mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and aunties.

Wishing all responsible, accomplished, strong and amazing women a very Happy International Women’s Day!

Signed,
Akosua G
Ontario, Canada
March 08, 2020

35 thoughts on “Celebrating Women: International Women’s Day”
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