It is not a man’s world. It is everyone’s world, man or woman, boy or girl, this is our world. Having passed the half-mark of the year, it is important to remind each other that this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BalanceforBetter is a call for equal opportunities and to make our world a more equal place.
Perhaps one would ask; how can we make the world a more equal place? I believe that it is possible to balance for better by looking at women as human-beings that have the capacity to do and achieve whatever they set their mind on. It is doable by looking beyond the social constructs and stereotypes about women.
Women have been downtrodden by society’s stereotypes that often regard women as weak, less intelligent and has in turn assigned roles that are perceived suitable for women and other roles, often perceived hard, for men. This is where our world gets it wrong.
It is quite true that biologically men and women are different, but that’s it. There is nothing to prove that men are more intelligent than women. There are women who are more intelligent, innovative and have good leadership skills than men. The world over, history is awash with stories of women movers and shakers; be it in science, politics or even just ordinary women.
I salute some of Malawi’s pioneering women whose deeds and voice assured other women that they too can do it. I am a proud of women such as Rose Chibambo, the first female Cabinet minister, Vera Chirwa, Joyce Banda, Anastanzia Msosa, and many other women behind the stage who in a way set the tone and showed women that a woman can be anything she wants to be and she can deliver.
I believe that if there is #BalanceforBetter even in our homes, it shows. A home where there is balance, is a happy home. A workplace where there is #BalanceforBetter, it’s often a productive workplace but a workplace where the women are treated with contempt, is toxic and unproductive.
This women’s month, I pledge to rally fellow women to take up their rightful positions and not just the roles that society has assigned to them. I pledge to support fellow women aspiring for various political positions regardless of the colour of their political party. I pledge to lender a listening ear to fellow women and help in whatever way I can. We are all striving for #BalanceforBetter.
The fight for gender equality is not a fight that must be won by either men or women, it is fight that must be won by all.
In this part of the world where I live, women have brought down the most feared dictators with nothing but their voice and determination. Women have come up with scientific innovations beyond people’s imagination. Women have been a rock that anchors their families in bad and good times. Women have sometimes, single handedly, raise children that have gone on to become world leaders. I could go on and on.
Though there is only one day—March 8—set aside for celebrating women, women should be celebrated every day not just by mere words but by actions that show that women are capable.