Today we celebrate the achievements of women around the world and how far the world has come when it comes to women’s rights. We still have a long way to go, but I’m grateful for where we are now. International Women’s Day is a good day to remind ourselves of the sacrifices our pioneers made in standing up for women. It’s a time to reflect on how lucky we have things today and how much further we have to go.
Growing up, my mum was bold enough to stand on her own in the way she raised us. To her, parenting was about encouraging and supporting us to do what we loved and enjoyed and not simply getting good grades, which made her radically different. She often told us how she was made to feel like a bad mother for having different views to the other mums.
The only time my dad protested my career choice was when I was set on doing remedial massage at TAFE. He wasn’t impressed because he thought there was a stigma attached with being in the massage industry. Still, he took me to the open day and sat through an info session in a classroom that rattled every time a tram went past.
Over the years, I have gained confidence in speaking up and being my own advocate. I have always been surrounded by strong women. In my bubble, women are treated as equals and respected for their choices they make. But not everyone has that luxury. For many women around the world, the fight and danger is real. They live with a sense of hopelessness on a daily basis, fearing that they will be bullied, abused or killed because they are a woman.
Today is a reminder for us to come together to stand up for these women. International Women’s Day is a celebration of pioneering individuals who fought to have women’s voices heard and remarkable women who have achieved great things. For me, it’s a day to be thankful to the fierce mother hens in my life for being my role models and keeping an eye on me while giving me room to make my own mistakes and learn from them.