This should not be just a day to acknowledge, or a month to celebrate, or a year to honor, but this should be a lifetime practice and commitment for us all to pay tribute to women globally.
This year the (IWD_2020) campaign theme is drawn from the notion of ‘collective individualism’ meaning it’s not either/or, but both. This is a skill-set linked to intentional and effective collaboration today and with each new generation to come. We are all part of a whole, but our individual actions, conversations, behaviors, and mindsets can have an impact on a much larger scale. Let us be reminded this year that an ‘equal world is an enabled world’.
This worldwide event has been observed since the early 1900’s but we don’t have to look that far back to the 1960’s when the feminist movement sparked. This was a breakthrough of independence which opened doors to dynamic possibilities for women. And also a time when men were deployed to the Vietnam War; spurring many women to search for jobs to assist with the support of their households.
This was a time when some women shifted into having to live a life that required them to become more independent. To the contrary, women needed to depend on, support, and collaborate with each other more than ever. Rather than viewing one another as competition, but now being united as teammates. This is an example of ‘collective individualism.’
This movement underscores the qualities of persistence, belief, confidence, determination, and self-awareness that a growing number of women were starting to bring to the table. These qualities, and others, enabled many women to become more innovative thinkers over the course of time.
The 1970’s gave women more choices and platforms. The birth of the pill and abortion rights empowered women, particularly when it came to decisions about their bodies. And the social order was demanding equal rights and pay, bringing about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). This victory was really the beginning of women’s liberation; now not only allowing women to vote, but women were also gaining rights in society that were equal to men.
Thereafter a gradual modernization began to sweep the globe with what it meant to be an ‘independent women’. This being defined by many facets that are unique to each women.
A women who no longer needs validation and attention from others or from global societies that constantly impresses standards on women to-be considered as strong. This is a women who stands tall with confidence, and walks with her head held high, while allowing her strength, happiness, and joy to shine through no matter the circumstance.
A women who feels empowered to make a positive difference and inspire others through intentional actions. This is the practice of simply letting go of past ideas of who you should have been > to who you are > to who you will evolve into over the course of time. It’s about being imperfectly perfect. This is a women who has needs and isn’t ashamed to ask for support even when this might be viewed as emotional or dependent. To the contrary, a women who is humble and practices gratitude daily.
A women who self-generates confidence, energy, and enthusiasm without the need of constant affirmation. This is a women that feels equipped and comfortable taking on challenges and acquiring new skill-sets. And feels secure making individualistic decisions, as well as having the emotional courage to voice important thoughts and opinions.
A women who balances work inside or outside of the home, or both; while maneuvering an array of relationships. This is a women who may choose to build a career over a traditional family centric household.
A women who pursues her goals and dreams with relentless passion; while generating income without being reliant on others. This is a women forging innovation and thriving on her own terms in business.
A women who invests in herself and isn’t afraid to put time, energy, and expense into self-care and personal improvement. And who values periodic solitude, and sees the benefits of meditation and prayer. This is a women who understands that in order to support others, you must protect your well-being.
A women who is comfortable with body image and loves herself when the rest of society casts opinions about being too big or too skinny or too dark or too tall or too short or too much or too little. This is a women who believes she is enough.
A women who owns her sexuality and is secure within the walls of her skin despite the risk of being judged. This is a women who takes pride in physical activity and sports to simply look and feel unapologetically strong.
A women who values cultivating reciprocal relationships and authentic fellowship on a personal and professional level. And understands that it is crucial to set healthy boundaries, and to know when it is best to walk away from toxicity.
A women who doesn’t allow any negativity to weigh down or kill her inner joy, but welcomes important lessons while taking responsibility for how a circumference around us thrives or dies. This is a women who believes her orbit of relationships will proliferate when we create an emotional environment around us that is infectious, courageous, and advantageous.
A women who believes that we are all micro-influencers. And acknowledges that there has been significant improvements and attitudinal shifts over the years…but women still are not present in equal numbers.
This is a day each year that should mark a continual agenda to celebrate globally; as well as a ‘call to action’ for gender parity.
Take this ‘life inventory’ with me today to collectively commit to a lifetime practice of tribute to women. Let us each do our micro part to blaze trails globally for the generations to come! This is freedom that no one can take.