International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
In my world, there are many women achievers that I see, some of whom I personally know -- women of all ages who are moving in different spheres of influence trying to make this world better for others, women climbing the corporate ladder just as fast as their male counterparts, women making marks in the fields of arts, science, government, industry, medicine and in many more areas.
But today, I want to honor the women who are not as visible to the world as we know it. These are the women in many countries who continue to be discriminated against; abused by their own culture, family and husbands; tortured as political prisoners; forced into heavy labor under abject conditions; and many other women who suffer in silence despite domestic violence for the sake of their children.
I truly feel blessed to be born a free woman -- free to grow up under the care of a loving family, free to be educated as much as i wish to, free to choose who I love and marry, free to travel, free to express myself in any form (within reasonable bounds), free to be recognized for my God-given talents in a society that treats men and women equally.
How sad it is to see that even in world that has gone through centuries witnessing slavery, discrimination, abuse and the like, these have not been totally eradicated till now despite the technological and educational advancement that people living in this century have access to.
I fervently hope that it will not be long before women are accorded the dignity, respect and equality that we have a right to as human beings and children of a God that sees all men and women as equals. Equality not in the sense that men and women should have the same roles all the time (as women definitely have roles that are best served by our nurturing nature) but equality in the sense that a woman who chooses to stay home to take care of children should be accorded the same respect as one who chooses to pursue a career. After all, careers have office hours. Full-time mothers work 24/7.
I wish I live to see the day when societies with castes and social classes break these barriers down and afford women the same rights to dignity, education and work as men. I hope that I or my children will be able to witness a world where women are free to be the best they can be as citizens of this world with the same opportunity to make a contribution to mankind.
To all my women family and friends, here's wishing ourselves a HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!