Lifestyle

International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.

Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.

IWD is not a country, group or organization specific.

Make IWD your day – every day.

(taken from www.internationalwomensday.com

What does it mean to be a woman?

I found myself wondering what this actually meant, it’s something I have never really given much thought to.

I mean I knew that someday I would get older and become a woman, I knew to be a woman meant I would look different from the men in my life, I knew I would be going through different changes in my body in order to mature and get to the next stage of womanhood but the thing I had never questioned was what it meant in terms of my rights, my choices, my daily thoughts, how I present myself, how I raise my children, how I see the world, how other people view me.

To me being a woman means so many different things.

It means I physically look different to men, it means I cry more easily, I’m more sensitive, I have to fight harder to be heard, I have to fight harder for my rights, I have the privileged to make life and to bring life into the world, I have the responsibility to not only fight for what’s right for women but also for men.

To me being a woman also means being a human being, a human who fights for the rights of all human beings.

Being a feminist doesn’t just mean equal rights for women but also for men!

It’s about seeing everyone as equal and treating them as such.

It’s really something that we don’t often stop to think about and so I decided I would ask different women what their own personal opinion was on what it means to be a woman.

The past two weeks I have worked with some really amazing women who I have come to know through different areas of my life.

I was curious to know how they felt about the subject and what their thoughts were and so I asked them all the two same questions and this is what they all came up with.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

Val @what_the_little_bears_eat (instagram)

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

“I’m not entirely sure if I’m honest as I’ve nothing to compare it to. Strength, compassion, honesty, and humility are traits I admire in anyone but I don’t believe that they necessarily belong solely to women.

I identify as a woman, mother, friend & daughter. I am also a counsellor by profession as well as personality. I like feminine and girly things but I’m still an advocate for women’s rights.

What would you tell women of future generations?

I would tell young girls today not to forget that they have options. A lot of women fought for your right to have these options. So never be afraid to take the opportunities that are available to you.
Be confident in your own skin and with the person that you are.
As I’m raising 2 boys I’m trying to instil in them the idea that women are just as good as they are and hopefully it will never even occur to them that there could be any difference between either of their capabilities.”

Penny @pennys.life (Instagram) Pennys Life-Blog (Facebook)

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

“Being born a woman brings me so much strength as well as a sense of duty. It’s a privilege to be a woman and experience the genetics engraved within me that I inherited from my beautiful mother.

As a strong woman, my mother has instilled a lot of things within me.

To always look at the bigger picture, stay open-minded, don’t judge what you don’t understand and most of all to always follow your heart, something I will instil into my children.

As a mother going through a marriage break up and raising two children on my own, it has brought me a great sense of belonging. I know that no matter what I’m enduring in life my beautiful children bring me peace, they are my haven and safety blanket.

Women today are cooks, carers, taxi drivers, workers, multitaskers, nieces, granddaughters, wives, girlfriends, daughters and sisters but we are also individuals and we must not let our identities diminish.

  • We can think for ourselves
  • We can speak for ourselves
  • We can be alone and still be happy for ourselves
  • We can be in a marriage/partnership yet still be an equal
  • We are strong
  • We are resilient
  • We are givers and providers
  • We are homemakers
  • We are the world

What would you tell women of future generations?

My only wish for my daughter and women of the future is for them to know that they are enough, they deserve the world. Never take anything less, always know your worth, be brave, ignore opinions, follow your heart and always stay true to yourself.”

Amanda @imamanda.ni (instagram) ImAmanda (Facebook) www.imamanda.co.uk (Blog)

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What does it mean to you to be a woman?

“My first thought when sitting down to write this piece was that being a woman is bloody
hard. Every day we straddle the line between various objective traits which we consider
important in defining ourselves as “a woman”.

Are we being too strong or too weak? Caring too much or too little? Looking too attractive or not attractive enough?

I’d love to say I am immune to this downward spiral, but alas I too can fall into the abyss of trying to fit this, quite frankly, the unobtainable definition of “a woman”. I could go on for pages about the trials and tribulations of being a female in today’s society and have every single woman nodding in agreement and every single man wondering if I was exaggerating, but in reality, I am luckier than many women before me.

Yes, in some ways being a woman has got easier; there was a time not so long ago when I
wouldn’t have been able to vote, work, study or do many of the things I take for granted
today. Where my life would only have been deemed a success when I married and had
children; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

But bear in mind the difficulties faced by today’s women. Continually seeking validation,
proving that they are not “just” women or fundamentally worth less than a man, dealing
with double standards, not to mention the, sometimes perceived, competition, with other
women. So while we may have come along way in the last 100 years we are still at a point
where there really is no definitive answer to what it means to be a woman.

I’ve realised that being a woman for me means I am recognised, supported and admired for who I am, and for my differences, whether that be physical or otherwise. I can choose to do whatever I want that makes me happy.

This realisation did not come easy, but at 37 years of age, to finally be at a point in my life where I know that I am in control and that my happiness is down to me, is extremely liberating.

Now don’t get me wrong I have a Pinterest board full of motivational quotes and more “could my life get any worse” memes than you’d probably deem healthy but in general I really can’t complain! (bear in mind I’m going through a divorce so life still sucks sometimes but that’s just one part of it!) but I have grown up in a society where we have been given the opportunity to stand up for ourselves, help ourselves and be independent.

I think about it this way; I am the boss of me, not just in relation to the normal everyday life and it’s necessary choices, but also in my wellbeing and physical and mental health. Today’s women have a plethora of resources, whether online, in print or in person, that makes being the best version of themselves possible. Many issues facing women in all walks of life are more openly discussed today; from postnatal depression to cancer to domestic violence.

As a woman, I am not afraid I will be dismissed or not listened too, and that is a very powerful feeling. To even have a platform such as this is something past generations could only dream off.

What would you tell women of future generations?

I worry about our young girls growing up in an age where everything is documented on
social media, where it seems your worth is reflected in the number of likes a photo or post gets and children are bullied and trolled incessantly.

I think the reality is they grow up too soon and are faced with a reality that they are not yet emotionally ready to deal with. It is never-ending.

At a time when young women don’t even know what they are thinking how do they deal with being bombarded by conflicting, and sometimes inappropriate, information, photoshopped ideals and unrealistic aspirations every day of their lives from morning to night?

And honestly I haven’t an answer, but then our job as women is not to fix the next
generation, our job is to prepare them as best we can, because who knows what they will
have to deal with in years to come.

I myself have a 7 year old daughter. And yes, I do worry about her, but I will not always be
here and as she grows it is my aim to offer a listening ear, and, should she ask for it, advice.

I’d love to say id been through everything and I can prepare her for everything this world will throw at her but unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
So while I watch her grow into a capable young lady and worry incessantly about how her
life will turn out I’ve thought of some things I’ve learned along the way. Some of these lessons have been tougher than others but are all equally as important in my eyes.

  • Stay optimistic, nothing good comes from a pity party and a negative attitude
  • People change, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse
  • You can’t control everything
  • Nobody has the answers
  • Not everyone likes you, but that doesn’t mean everybody hates you
  • Never regret something that once made you happy
  • If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, stop accepting crappy things
  • Just because you don’t look like someone you think is attractive doesn’t mean you aren’t
  • Flowers and Christmas tree lights are pretty and they look nothing like each other
  • One day, something or someone will come along that sets your heart on fire. When it ends, you will want to die. That feeling will not last forever, let it hurt, let it go and move on
  • It’s ok to remove toxic people from your life
  • You don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of yourself
  • No is a full sentence

Being a woman is hard, but it is also beautiful. ”

Katie @kat.devlin (instagram) Love Kat (facebook) https://lovekat.co.uk (blog)

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

“As a 22 year old female living in the 21st century every day is not always smooth sailing.

We are quick to judge, criticise, and we are our own worst enemies because not only do we impose this on others but we also subject ourselves to this!

The rise of social media has had a lot of negative effects on females, with people portraying ‘perfect lives’, this has led to females trying to up their ‘Instagram Game’ (and we are all guilty of it, including me).

Up until recently, we were not showing the real us, real life and we were cheating the world as well as ourselves. This trend is starting to change. For the Better. People are starting to show both sides of themselves. The Good Life and The Real Life. This is allowing us to come back down to normality, to allow ourselves to find, respect and embrace our true self.

People are posting themselves working out in the gym which is great as it might encourage other people to get active, but they are also showing the other side that everyone has belly rolls at certain angles which are helping to show that we should embrace every part of ourselves.

To me being a woman, is the most amazing experience the world could have blessed me with. I have been brought up and raised by strong, inspirational women, been given the chance to have an education, the knowledge that I am loved and worthy of love.  I have been taught the difference between right and wrong and understand how to be kind to others and myself.

I am growing up in a world where thoughts and opinions around women are steadily improving and becoming how they should be! This is supported by movements such as #METOO and #HEFORSHE.

What would you tell women of future generations?

My advice to future females would be:

1. BE KIND, SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING TO OTHERS

2. LOVE YOURSELF ENTIRELY

3. TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY YOU GET ”

Ayrin @ayrin_armstrong (instagram) 

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

“It’s about loving ourselves and having the courage to be who we want to be not what the world is telling us we have to be just because we’re women.

What would you tell women of future generations?

As a mother and feminist, I want our future women of the world to know that they have a choice. They can take shelter in the crowd that continues to treat women as inadequate or they can take action, believe in themselves and help empower other women by standing away from the crowd. ”

 

 

I want to thank every single one of these beautiful and unique women who took the time to write what it means to them to be a woman!

I want all future women to read this and feel empowered, feel on top of the world and know that they can achieve anything they want!

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than to celebrate local women.

Let’s always celebrate our brave, beautiful, powerful women around the world!

Happy International Women’s day today and every day.

 

Elisabeth x

 

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