International Women’s Day
It was recently International Women’s Day, so Happy International Women’s Day!
I have always been surrounded by incredible women. Between my Mam championing STEM and balancing a full-time career with twins, to my aunt who has raised my three cousins solo since they were young and doing so whilst starting her own business, to all of my cousins who are clever and brave and beautiful. To another aunt who, as a nurse, has spent Christmas Days caring for others, and another aunt who spends her life making everyone’s lives better by being attentive and caring.
To my Nana, whose life was spent supporting and caring for my dad and his siblings and attempting to better their lives and my Mamgu, who was a teacher and has travelled the world and who is always there to brighten my day with her stories. To my friends, old and new, who show me every day that the future truly is female.
I will always be surrounded by incredible women. Because I’m lucky enough to not only have role models within my own family, but also within popular culture. Between Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousufzai, Serena Williams and Taylor Swift, Stacey Dooley and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka there are plenty of women to look up to.
I’m glad I have these role models. They’ve made me a better person. I’m keeping myself informed on important matters and I’m learning how to improve myself each day. I’m not perfect and I still find it hard to ask for help when I need it, but having the support of the amazing women around me and being able to look to these role models allows me to look to them for guidance and ways of improving myself.
I see the young women around me, and I have hope for the future. They are witty and bright and have the power to change the world if they want to. From my friends hoping to be doctors and save people, to those who want to pursue a career in teaching so that they can shape young minds. To my friends who want to be translators or writers or bankers or actors. To my friends who, like me, are pursuing a career in journalism and hope to change the world through the press and media.
They have the world at their fingertips, and I cannot wait to see them reach their full potential.
International Women’s Day is never about bashing men. It’s about celebrating the women who are often left in the shadows and don’t make it to the history books. It’s about celebrating the women who have survived domestic abuse and supporting their journey. It’s about remembering the young girls who are married before they even start their period; the ones who deserve change because they deserve better lives. It’s about remembering the women who have shaped the world without the world even knowing. It’s about celebrating the women who live with conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome but remembering that often, their pains weren’t believed. It’s about remembering that most women aren’t believed when they report sexual assault. It’s about encouraging the new generation of women to break through glass ceilings and showing them, they have the power to do so.
Regardless of whether you were born a woman, if that is how you identify you deserve to have people use the correct pronouns and treat you with respect. Regardless of whether you are able to reproduce or whether complications mean it might never be possible or whether you never want children, you deserve to have your value seen as more than just your womb. Regardless of the colour of your skin, you deserve the same rights as anyone else. Regardless of any disability, you deserve to be treated with respect.
Being a woman can be hard. Between inequality and periods and misogyny, it’s a tough world. But women need to support women. Men need to support women and women need to support men, too. Everyone needs to support everyone. Imagine how much of a better place the world would be if we all supported one another in achieving our goals, instead of building up barriers and causing roadblocks.
Regardless of your gender, you have a right to equal pay and equal opportunity.
By Tirion Davies