Updated: May 26
My Fellow Women,
Today as we mark the international women’s day, here is my love note to you.
I want you to know that you are enough, just as you are.
I know you have been labeled and told all sorts of things, me too.
I have been told I am a good woman and will make a good mother but not a good wife because I am too much. I have been told that I should not get another degree until I am married, because I will scare the men away. I have been told I am too ambitious, too forthright, too this and too that.
I have been asked to sit in executive committees to provide my insights but they could not promote me because they said I was too young. They have asked for my thoughts and given me a seat at the table but struggled to pay me what the seat was worth; They said I was a young woman and I did not need too much money. They told me I shouldn’t apply for certain roles until I had a family of my own (Until I was married).
They told me I was too focused and needed to take the energy elsewhere; meaning I needed to give birth. When I put my foot down, they said I was moody and asked if it was that time of the month. When I struggled with period pain, I could not tell anyone because they would consider me weak. I have had to keep a straight face and hold back both tears and anger when they disrespected me on my face and made gender derogatory remarks.
I have also been given advice on what to do so I bag myself a man; because I was not complete being unmarried. They have begged me to get a child, just so I can be normal like everyone else.
I have been mistreated on the road, because I was a woman behind the wheel. There are roads I have driven on, tightly clutching to my steering and fervently praying to get out because I felt unsafe. They have made comments about my anatomy and am sure, just like you; they have undressed me with their looks and words. I have encountered all sorts of bias, and I know you too have.
Someone stopped you from pursuing your dreams because they felt they knew what was right for you. They made a choice for you
Someone touched you inappropriately because they felt you are a piece of art at their disposal
Someone denied you a position or a business opportunity because you didn’t align (meaning you did not spread the legs)
Someone denied you what was rightfully yours because you are a woman and well,,,,,you don’t need that
They gave you a speech of how you should be, what you should do and how to do it because a woman should be told.
They demanded your utmost performance even without asking how you were coping, yet everyone knew you were going through a tough season balancing family and gender roles.
And so today, I write to you, my fellow woman.
I want you to know that you are not alone in this struggle
I want you to know that it’s unfair and ridiculous what we go through
I want you to know that soon, the bias shall end, because you and I will keep at it
We will keep talking about the prejudices and the discrimination
I want you to know that regardless of what has been said about you, you are amazing.
You are enough, just as you are. You are great, you are a human who deserves respect and honour, regardless of what others think of you.
Your right to dignity is not conditional, it is a HUMAN RIGHT . You deserve both equity and equality. I want you to know that your worth is neither measured by the fruit of your womb, nor your marital status. Your worth is not measured by the accolades under your name or the lack of either. You are worthy because you are you; so, don’t let anyone rob you of it.
Let us continue to speak about the biases that disenfranchise us and our fellow sisters
Refuse to be boxed in a space that denies you the opportunity to live your best life.
Speak and treat other women with kindness and give them your support. Before we were women, we were humans and we have equal rights.
From me to you,