This years IWD campaign theme is #BreakTheBias
''Imagine a gender equal world.
A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women's equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.''
This years theme speaks to the superwoman in all of us and I cant help but take this moment to tip my metaphorical hat in honour and gratitude of the generations of strong, courageous women who fought tirelessly, against ridicule and oppression, so women in 2022 could enjoy the fruits of their labour. A world where women are finally being counted, respected and heard, as we break down the old, and rebuild the new.
This years IWD theme, breaking the bias, goes so far beyond gender equality. It demands we re-examine the status quo, as we have known it for most of our lives, a time to re-assess why we still struggle to conform to a society that was built upon the values of men who have dictated how much women are worth, what roles we must adopt, how we should walk, talk, feel, look, dress, act, LIVE. It even told me how i should be a mother, a fiance, and how i should grieve the loss of my partner, the father of my children, who i was left picking up the pieces with, and struggle to do so every single day. Usually to make others more comfortable.
I have sat in boardrooms of men, who have all underestimated me because of my age, my looks, and quite simply my gender. I've had to stand up against inappropriate behaviour by men trying to take advantage of my desire to build something bigger than myself, of others opinions about where I'm from, and judgements about my ability to run a company and be a good mother, on top of pressure to be it all, have it all, but never stray beyond the scope of what society deems acceptable.
All so i can support as many women as I can, by empowering them through wellness and education, so they can prevent physical and mental disease, and be better mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, friends, BUT more importantly, so i can show my daughter and son, that it doesn't matter where you come from, your religion, your culture, your ethnicity, your size, we all have a right to pave our own path, on our own terms, and above all to be respected, and treated as equals. To be a woman is to never let another dictate to you your limits, or define who you are or what you stand for in life. If we follow our hearts, our passion, and ignite the fire in our souls and fight for one another, for the less fortunate and for what is right, then we can sleep at night knowing we have tried to make the world a better place, and hopefully inspire another women to do the same... and collectively, that is when tides change and waves are made across the globe on a systemic level which is where real change is needed.
IWD 2022 embodies re-birth, by deconstructing outdated pressures forced upon women by society, our employers, our families, our friends and the media. When i look around me now, as a 38 year old single widow of 2 beautiful young children, i think of the darkest times in my life, and my thoughts turn to the people who got me through them, and every single time it was my fellow female, soul sister, goddess, who stood behind me, lifted me up and helped me move forward, even when i forgot how too, and all the while laughing through the pain.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to have these women in my life, for without them, life would be a cold, lonely place.
WOMEN. These women will evolve daily with the rise and fall of the sun, they are fierce, strong, quietly confident, loud, nurturing, empathetic, warm, loving, compassionate, considerate, genuine, unique, the same, they can be the difference between sanity and death, love and war, lost and found. Women are the soft, delicate, loud, boisterous, rough, gentle chameleons who ALWAYS put others before themselves, but should care for themselves first.
Regardless of our age, role, career, size, colour, whether we are single, married, mums, or childless, we ALL have something in common, and that is when we UNITE together, stand beside one another, and lift one another up, our opportunities and potential are limitless. When we rediscover our voices we can collectively rise up against preconceptions, outdated social conditioning, matriarchal expectations, and demand to be heard, acknowledged, respected and included.
Being a woman in 2022 is saying a big NO THANKS to all the people who have controlled us, misunderstood us and mistaken us for something we are not. And today is the one day we can really make an effort to reach out in person to all those incredible women we know, who have helped shape us and our lives, and say THANK YOU, YOU MATTER. It's a day we may remember to guide and support our young women who are yet to discover who they are, so they too can stand tall in their uniqueness, weirdness, KINDNESS, and unlock their own super-power. BUT most importantly, maybe IWD can be a day where we remind the most important woman of all, OURSELVES, that the only love and reassurance we need is already within us. ❤️