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A Girl's Reflections

By March 09, 2012 , , , , ,

Today is International Women’s Day. I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t even aware of the existence of this day until just a couple years ago. In fact, I had never really given its importance much thought until today. But after receiving a few quirky ecards from friends wishing me “Happy International Women’s Day”, I decided to do a bit of reading and self-education. A quick Google search informed me that this day is celebrated globally and is even a national holiday in several countries. Then I happened upon a short blurb on the International Women’s Day website (yes, there’s even a website!) which really struck a chord. It said, “The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that all the battles have been won for women…” Something about “all the battles already being won for women” made me realize how little I think about my daily life lived as a girl and how much I take for granted. I know many others don’t have this luxury. 

International Women’s Day was borne just over 100 years ago. Since that time, women’s rights and liberties have certainly come a long way. But even now, there is oppression, abuse, and lack of equal rights and opportunities for women. What’s more, this is not an issue isolated to developing, third world nations; we see it in the so-called developed world as well…even a century later. These reflections reminded me of how incredibly privileged I am to have grown up in surroundings where I never felt limited as a girl. The profession I chose for myself, the level of education I obtained, the various social and professional activities I engage in, my independence and ability to live as I choose – these are all things my parents instilled in me and that society nurtured. And indeed, in my little bubble, being a woman means living freely but not carelessly, living fearlessly but not afraid to ask loved ones for support when I need it, living like the world is ours but not taking anything for granted. As I drove home from work this evening, I heard Ne-Yo’s Miss Independent ironically playing on the radio. As the singer crooned his respect and admiration for a woman who is her own boss and knows what she wants, I smiled to myself. Albeit cheesy, I felt a tad bit empowered. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go the way of burning bras or turning all “women’s lib” on anyone. I just hope everyone else had a moment to contemplate just how lucky we are and wish all the ladies out there an empowered International Women’s Day!

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