I am a woman. And on International Women’s Day I feel as empowered as ever.
On any other given day I usually don’t think of how fortunate I am because I view myself as a regular person. I’ve known no different. As a child I was never stereotyped by my gender or treated differently. However, the older I get, the more I notice that there is a difference and I recognize just how much I have been positively influenced by the women in my life.
Because of these women, and women I’ve never even had the pleasure of personally knowing, that have carried our gender rights on their backs, I never had to view myself as anything different.
I was taught to view myself as the independent, outspoken, educated, optimistic, and proud woman I am today.
I get the pleasure to work with a group of strong women who fight against the odds every single day. They’re constantly being degraded because of their gender and doubted because “they can only do jobs women are capable of doing”. This same group of women often run the show single-handedly and do it with class and professionalism regardless of how enraged they become by the comments of others. I’m inspired by them every single day and thankful I get the opportunity to learn from them.
I’m the daughter of a mother who has fought for her daughters to be taken seriously in this world, ingrained in me that I can do anything I want to, and has taught me to be outspoken to get to where I want to go in life. With a loving heart and a strong sense of confidence she’s shown me how a mother, wife, and modern day super woman should be. And I aspire to do the same to my future children one day.
I’m the granddaughter of a woman who beat the odds against her disability, married a man of a different nationality in a time where their cultures were in battle, moved across the world to give her family a better life, and did it all when society wasn’t willing to even treat her like a real person. And she did it all with the most dedicated, supportive, and loving man by her side the entire step of the way.
I’m the granddaughter of a woman who moved across the country by herself to give herself a better life. She became financially stable on her own, worked extremely hard for herself without the help of her parents, and gained an identity of her own. To this day she continues to be independent.
And I’m a proud great-granddaughter of a woman who raised five children on her own while her husband was fighting in the navy, worked multiple jobs to provide for her family, and single handedly moved her family across the world for a better life. She preached the importance of independence until the day she died at 95 years old. And that message will always stick with me.
I’ve been fortunate enough to come from a long line of strong women who have fought and continue to fight for women’s rights, and I firmly believe that those who we surround ourselves with are the one’s who inspire us the most. To me that means we need to set a good example in order to keep the movement alive.
This International Women’s Day we should continue to encourage women to create a commitment with themselves, create success in their own ways, fulfill their dreams no matter how big or small, educate others on how to continue fighting for women of the present and future, push beyond the limits and expectations, and thank those who have done the same for us over the past hundred-plus years.
We have a lot to be proud of, so thank you ladies.
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