I love being a woman. I’m deeply grateful that I was born one. As females, many of us are natural nurturers, empaths and great listeners. We’re intuitive, and we appreciate the beauty in the small things. In today’s world, it’s these strengths – inherent in so many women – that are so desperately needed.
There’s no doubt the world is changing for women. It seems every week we hear about a new female ‘first’: recently, Australia’s first female High Court Chief Justice, Susan Kiefel, was sworn in, and NSW now has its first female Liberal Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.
And, while we missed out on our first female US President last year, we’ve witnessed the work of females such as Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai who are fearlessly campaigning to make the world a better place for girls and women.
However, in the current political climate, many fear women’s rights are slipping backwards – which is why there’s never been a greater need for days such as International Women’s Day (8 March).
According the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. 2186! That means for generations to come women won’t be equal to men socially, economically, culturally and politically.
You might be thinking we’ve heard all this before. Around International Women’s Day, our newsfeeds will be clogged with inspirational quotes about women and the disparity that still exists. But what can we actually do about it?
Well, for a start, we can align ourselves with a cause we believe in. We proudly support i=Change and Global Sisters – you can find out more here – and I also support UN Women and will be a guest at their International Women’s Day breakfast.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem.
Collectively, we can make a huge difference. And your single action – be it standing up for another woman in the workplace, calling out unconscious bias, or simply not competing with another woman, but complimenting her and telling her how brilliant she is – will make a huge impact. Women need to back each other 100 per cent.
And as we celebrate other women and give back, it’s important to give ourselves a pat on the back too. Women (and men) often put themselves last. But what can you celebrate about yourself, and your own strengths and achievements?
This International Women’s Day, the theme is #BeBoldForChange. We can all do with a little injection of boldness in our own lives. Boldness doesn’t have to be about being the loudest person in the room. It can be quietly, authentically taking a stand for something you believe in. Boldness might be the courage to say no to something and schedule in some time for you to have a cup of tea with a friend. Or it might be having the courage to have that tough conversation with someone who isn’t good for your soul.
Be bold, and don’t forget to celebrate the sisterhood and your strengths this International Women’s Day. The world needs more of what you have.