To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, I wanted to really think about, and celebrate, the things that I have learned through spending time with, listening to and loving the amazing women in my life.
It’s rare that women get the thanks, recognition and space that they truly deserve – and I don’t want to play a part in that. I want to say thank you to all the incredible women that I learn from every day, that have helped to make me who I am and who continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
These women are my mother, my grandmothers, extended family, my best and closest friends, people I used to call friends, my colleagues, my manager/s, friends of friends, teachers, activists, artists and all the women I have met (and will meet) along the way. These women also include myself.
I’m taking the time to sit, think about and recognise all the important things these women have taught me and what that means to me now. This is by no means an exhaustive list but I think it’s a good practice to think about what you’re grateful for. Even if some of those lessons have been painful, there’s something that can be learned from them too.
- You deserve love. At all time. Without exception.
- You can leave relationships that don’t add value to your life.
- Be confident in your strengths, abilities and accomplishments.
- Being open and honest is the best way to build a friendship.
- You can set and stick to your own boundaries.
- Being welcoming to people is an amazing quality.
- Women are smart, strong, powerful and kind.
- Always help other people up by sharing what you know.
- You are allowed to demand more from your life.
- You can be brave and you can push yourself.
- You can be vulnerable. It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength.
- Fight for what you believe in and stand your ground.
- Always back yourself and accept your own needs.
- Look however you choose to look. Nobody really cares.
- It’s not your role to hold everything together.
These are just 15 of the stand out things that come to mind when I think about the women that have had an impact on my life. There are many more – and I look forward to the lessons to come.
International Women’s Day 2019 is focused on the theme of ‘balance for better’ and asking how you can help forge a more gender-balanced world. It’s a great time to think about the women you have learned from, celebrate their achievements and thank them. Let them know that you appreciate them, their time and what they bring to your life.
We can all help raise the bar for how women are valued in society – so let’s start now. Let’s start in our own relationships and then keep going. Keep learning about how you can support all women, from all walks of life.
I highly recommend listening to some of the amazing people online who are inspiring others, opening up conversations, sharing their knowledge, highlighting issues and helping to create real change.
Here’s some of my current favourites:
- Florence Given
- Munroe Bergdorf
- Chidera Eggerue
- Ruth Leiser
- Tess Holliday
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Hannah Witton
- Megan Jayne Crabbe
- Brené Brown
- Annika Victoria
- Reni Eddo Lodge
- Leanne Woodfull
- Leena Norms
Please share some of the amazing women – and people – you know that are helping to change the world one step at a time, and don’t forget to get involved with #BalanceforBetter this IWD2019!