Reflecting on International Women’s Day

Being a woman is a multifaceted and complex experience that is shaped by a variety of factors including biology, culture, society, and personal experiences. It can involve navigating social and political structures that have historically marginalised and oppressed women, as well as navigating personal identities and relationships.

Leading up to International Women’s Day, I had taken some time to reflect on what it means to me to be a woman right now, in 2023. Whether it defines my role as a counsellor, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister or a friend…what exactly does it mean to me and why should this day matter? It is true that we can look to International Women’s Day as a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. We can recognise this progress. However, we should also take the time to consider the work that needs to be done in order to achieve true gender equality within those spheres. 

So, how can we do that?

It need not be grand gestures (although those help!) but it could be as seemingly simple as sharing and celebrating a woman’s story or accomplishment on social media, amplifying and uplifting their voice. It could be helping create more opportunities for women in your community whether this takes up shape in the form of social support or economic opportunities in the workplace. Every small effort of support could be creating a big difference with greater knock on effects. 

Closer to home, on a more personal level we can also use this day to celebrate the women who are special in our lives. Be it our mothers, sisters, daughters, or friends, we can take the time to thank them for all that they do and all that they mean to us. These small gestures of appreciation can go a long way in reflecting to them how much they are valued.

Finally, let’s not forget to celebrate ourselves on this day! Women are strong, resilient, and capable of achieving so many great things. As women, we can all take a moment on this day – to reflect upon and appreciate our own accomplishments, the challenges we have overcome and are looking forward to – what values we would like to be guided by. As I think again what International Women’s Day means to me, in short, it encompasses ALL the roles I take on as a woman. Being a mother, wife, counsellor, friend, daughter, sister…they all matter a great deal to me. Feeling supported AS WELL AS being able to support others within these avenues is something I will always strive for.

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