International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on how we can create a more gender equal world and raise awareness against bias. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women. And, it’s a day to think about how we can raise our next generation of women to find their voices and strength from a young age.
It’s no secret that we live in a society that was designed to be a place for men to be in power. Women’s voices were silenced for the majority of our country’s history and their opportunities were limited. We’ve come a long way in making it a more equal world, but there is still a lot of work to do. From equal pay to being able to see more leaders that look like us, we women need to keep up the good fight for the little girls we are raising and teaching.
We know we need more examples of strong women highlighted. We need little girls to know that they can grow up to be anything a boy can. From doctors, to scientists, to CEO’s, to even one day (hopefully, maybe!) President of the United States. But, we also need little girls to know that it is just as important to do work that is stereotyped as “women work.” Jobs like nurses, teachers, and caretakers are the backbone of our society. These roles have primarily been filled by women, not because they are less important or easy, but precisely the opposite. They are the hardest jobs on the planet.
It’s also essential that the boys we are raising grow up to see women in a different light than previous generations. We need our boys to know that girls are just as strong, just as smart, and just as worthy of having opinions. We need them to know that women come in all different shapes and sizes. We need them to understand that there are many forms of beauty and strength. And we need them to appreciate that women can be loud & opinionated, or quiet & understated, and it’s all good.
Mostly I hope this is a day that girls can reflect on how cool it is to be a woman. Yea, a lot of the hard stuff in life tends to fall on us- childbirth, caring for elderly loved ones, heavy mental loads… And we aren’t always given credit for our work. But, we have grit and toughness that can’t be matched. We have fierce female friendships that show us how lucky we are to be women. We come from generations of hardcore women who fought for our rights and would be blown away by our accomplishments. Let’s keep up the fight.