International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on 8 March; when I first saw this event mentioned a couple of days ago, I thought to myself oh here we go again, yet another ‘national’ day so the card industry et al can make yet more money out of a sham. But I couldn’t have been more wrong it seems.
With its roots in American soil – the first nationally recognised Women’s Day was on 28 February 1909, rather surprisingly the celebration was then adopted by the socialists and communists in the form of Russia, China and Spain. China even took it one step further in 1949 and generously allowed women in China to have a half day holiday!
It wasn’t until 1977 that the Western World officially observed the day and made 8 March the day to recognise, amongst other things, women’s rights. And so it has grown in significance eversince.
But the whole one day celebration thing got me thinking; just one day to shout about women’s rights, their strengths, the ‘benefit’ of having them around?
It’s a bit like when someone dies, especially when it’s someone who has been in the public eye; everyone sings their praises, talks about how the deceased excelled, if only they had done this or that, the regrets from people who say ‘if only I had done more of (whatever) with him/her’ or ‘had they been given that opportunity, they could have….’ So lots of regrets and ‘if only’s’ but now the person has gone for good, it is too late.
So my point is, why have just one day to recognise the strengths and importance of a person? Why not highlight the worth of a woman all the time so there can be no regrets or if only’s throughout the other 364 days of the year?
Each day calls on the qualities that make women different – yes we are different from men, we think differently, we react differently and I say vive la difference!
Perhaps it’s getting the children ready for school whilst juggling a full time job, helping an aged parent, thinking about the weekly food budget, trying to find time (and sometimes effort) for a husband or partner who often feel neglected and resent having to take second place.
Women are pulled in all directions day after day and it is due to their strength and resilience that they can keep going day after day.
So don’t restrict the celebration of our strength to just one day; to every woman throughout the world, appreciate your strengths, shout out about them, if you are juggling children/home/work/aged parents/your own life, then celebrate your ability to do that every day!
Any shortfall in the physical strength quota is more than made up for in your psychological might; it’s just not quite so easy for everyone to see but perhaps it’s time to start rippling those mental muscles.
(Just a final thought, given our propensity to overlook strengths and highlight weakness, as a mother, take a look at your children and stop yourself when you tell them off for their weaknesses and let’s face it, we do tell off our children a lot; step back and think about their strengths and encourage those. Use the carrot not the stick.)