Today, Thursday 8 March is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, and drives forward gender parity. It also commemorates the movement for women’s rights which goes in line with what’s been happening this year and the various movements that have cropped up.
So we all are aware and have seen women cry out for justice with #MeToo and #Time’sUp movements, which has been focusing on the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace and a call for Change. And rightly so I say.
For many women, there was a keen awareness that there had been a major shift in the firmament when it came to gender parity, the treatment of women in the workplace has been the silent talk behind closed doors for years but everything has a deadline – and the deadline came when women stood up to claim their TIME (thanks Senator Maxine Walters for that statement: hearing her steered me up to also ‘stand up and claim my time’).
The theme is ‘Press for Progress’, a strong call to action to think, act and be gender inclusive thus we (The Renaissance Team) are supporting the IWD pledge campaign to #pressforprogress.
So, I would like to urge you all to please diptweet your own pledge using the hashtag #pressforprogress, and take a selfie of yourself with a pledge card. Pledge cards can be found here or make your own!
I pondered on what I wanted to focus and have reflected in this season and I chose: Education and Literacy and the right for women to be educated worldwide. Growing up, education was keyed into me by my parents. There was nothing more important for my future than getting a good education. There have been stories of girls and women who have been denied, punished or even killed for wanting to have an education.
A prime example is amazing Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at age 15, by Taliban gunmen – her “crime”, to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated. In 2014, she was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi, for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Aged 17 at the time, she became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. Now if only, her shooters knew that her ordeal will end up saving her and making her feel even more empowered.
My stance is that education and literacy is not only the right thing to do for the girl herself – it is simply wrong that she should be denied these opportunities and her potential left to waste. I view educating girls as that which brings wider benefits: greater prospects for a sustainable livelihood bringing economic benefit to families and communities. For me, education means freedom and empowerment; the chance to fulfill their potential and make their voice heard in the world. It is hard to describe how it breaks my heart that even in this millennial age, there are still millions of girls across the globe who don’t have the chance to attend school. And we know (by experience) the kind of impact educating girls can have — not just for them and their families, but for their communities and their countries as well.
One of my passion is that every girl/woman on this planet will have the same kind of opportunities that I have had. Every single one of us has a role to play in helping them get the education they deserve, and International Women’s Day is the perfect time to make that commitment.
That’s why in 2018, we really must continue to #PressForProgress. Remember that you have to use your privilege to serve other people.
I dare you to take a moment, evaluate those women around you and reflect on how progress can be made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of our countries and communities.
In one of the famous quotes from the late Maya Angelou: “Nothing can dim the light that shines within.”
Dare to make a difference and create a change for Women Empowerment.
Happy International Women’s Day Beloveds ❤️
Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©