The 8th of March - International Women's Day gives us a moment to reflect on what it means to be a woman in today's world.
For me, I think about what has changed so much in my lifetime and what is yet to change for the world my daughter calls her own. When I was 9 years old (my daughter's age now), I remember learning that my aunty had to stop working when she got married. That really isn't that long ago. She had a successful business life, managing commercial contracts across various sites in Victoria and packed it all in to be the dutiful wife. Not because my uncle demanded that of her, he was her greatest supporter (at the grand old age of 9, I could tell his tone demonstrated his devotion), but because that was the law. He was in the defence force, she was working, ring goes on finger, wife comes home. Done.
That's how it was.
Now I have no dramas if a couple decide to have one working, one at home raising the children, if that's their decision. And that's the point, it is now their decision. In one generation, the dynamics of the role of a woman has changed.
Likewise, the role of a woman is far more than a wife or mother, and for that I am truely grateful. I love being married, I'm so lucky to have found the most wonderful human to marry and share my life with. And I love being a mother and step-mother. But I am also a:
I could go on. I'm sure you get the point! I love that my role in life is what I want it to be - for that particular time. I am truly grateful that I get to choose.
I am utterly gracious to those who have influenced my life by being wonderful female role models. Those I have looked up to and learnt from. Those marching to the beat of their own drum and creating their own song. Whilst I'm not much of a singer, I love a good beat and it reminds me that life is a dance - and we all get to choose our music. Those who I regularly look to and fill me with joy, challenge, love, strength and gratitude include:
And to all the other women and men who are supporting our choices and making it possible for us to lead the lives we design - thank you!
To the women who haven't yet had the opportunity to live a life of choice, I pray you can soon. We've come a long way but there is still more to do. I look at this with hope. Look how far we've come since my aunty quit her job!
I wonder what my daughter will reflect on when the 8th March 2051. She will be my age, I wonder what she will be thankful for and what will have changed?
Happy international women's day - to all of the wonderful people celebrating how fabulous it is to be a woman! May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.