By BIMBOLA AMAO
Since 1914, the 8th of March has been declared as the International Women’s Day. A century has since passed and the womenfolk are still fighting gender disparity. There are bits of progress here and there, Saudi Arabian ladies can now drive and my sisters from the south east can inherit their fathers’ properties if they care and there are now 32 women CEO on the list of Fortune 500 CEOs.
I like the theme of IWD 2018 – Press for Progress because from where I stand, everyone has to press for progress including women. I am convinced that if an issue is a human right, it’s a woman’s right. So I stopped looking for the gender in anything. For the times, that I have been stopped or have failed, I wasn’t stopped because I am a girl; I was most times stopped because of self-sabotaging habits like cowardice and indifference.
Pressing for progress may be a global theme but it won’t make any difference for an average girl on the street whose story is not of UNESCO or UN’s importance if she doesn’t step up to the plate by herself.
Do a self audit – What is stopping me?
How am I stopping myself?
Do I have enough ambition and passion for a better life?
Is there something I want to achieve that will bring me fulfillment? Then press for the progress of that dreams.
Stop making excuses.
“There are not enough women on the table”. Is there a reason we can’t build our own tables and or invite other girls to the party?
“Oh! I’m in a shitty marriage” – There is something called walking away and not looking back. Get help if you need to, fight for your well being and live your dreams
“The woman can’t have it all”- Have you heard about work-life integration? We stopped talking balance, we now integrate stuff on the go. Anyone who wants it all, can.
“Women don’t get to the topmost of their career” –because they quit! Stay in the workforce. It’s a myth that you’re not as ambitious as your male colleagues. If you want to be the best in your field, put in the works and hours. If it’s not possible in your current work place, find another that will support your advancement.
“Women don’t help women”. That was eons ago. Women lean on each other now. Find a support system, if you bring loyalty and support to the table, you will likely get same. Then ask for help. You may just be asking the right woman.
“I’ve got only me”. Well, well…Sometimes, there may be a gang of women bringing the heat to shatter the glass or banging on it, and other times you have to buy/borrow your own hammer and shatter the glass by yourself.
And lastly, be true to yourself. Speak up, stop shying away from asking for projects that can advance your careers or sharing ideas that can help your team. Be very comfortable displaying behavioral and emotional characteristics of ambition, there’s nothing wrong in being very ambitious.
Until we decide to stop being vulnerable and weak, we will be at the receiving ends of inequality. Until we decide to go get our money, poverty will continue to be sexist. Until we decide to daily live as achievers, we will achieve only pity parties and a pat on the back for being so weak year in and out. There would be millions of vulnerable women, you be strong and pick up another ‘poor girl’ on your way and shake the weakness out of her as you progress for change.
Happy International Women’s Day 2018
PAINTING BY-BRILLIANT BRUSH GALLERIES