During women’s month, I usually reflect on and appreciate the incredible women all over the world who have championed women’s causes over time.
There is no shortage of such accomplished women, from Nobel Prize winners, activists of various social issues, businesswomen at the helm of big corporations, philanthropists, educators, entertainers, award-winning journalists, the list is endless. The celebration of women is not just limited to these well-known women, it includes the amazing everyday women who may not have graced the front cover of magazines, written best sellers, or raised millions of rands for charity.
This article celebrates ordinary women going about their everyday lives. Even though I refer to us as ordinary, there is nothing ordinary about our lives or what we do. Consider the unemployed teacher who volunteers, teaching matric learners maths in her community; the married mother who is building a home for her family and holding down a full-time job; the single woman who is teaching her children how to be upstanding citizens; and the woman who has persevered through multiple hurdles and made it. I can go on and on.
As women, we seldom take the time or make an effort to appreciate our accomplishments and how important our struggles have been.
We have our own followers and admirers. As we go about our business, standing up to bullies, accomplishing challenging tasks, failing yet not giving up, there are people who notice what you do and are inspired by it. You may even think that what you are doing is nothing special but to someone else watching and noticing, this could be the inspiration they needed to propel themselves forward and also achieve their goals.
Many years ago, I was inspired by a lady who started a new career later in her life, and this gave me the confidence to do it as I had been thinking about it for a long time but was never brave enough to start the journey. Her determination and success inspired me to chase my own happiness.
Over and over, women have demonstrated that they can do anything. As clichéd as this may sound, it is true.
Every time that I have challenged the false belief that I could not do something, I found that I was able to do it – with effort and patience.
Similarly, a number of women have turned their lives around, from discarding limiting beliefs, to letting go of bad habits and making positive changes in their lives to the benefit of not just themselves but those around them as well.
As women, we all play a crucial role in the environment that influences the future generation of women. We have the responsibility of raising up and supporting girls filled with confidence, self-respect and infinite aspirations just as our mothers, grandmothers and female others did for us. This women’s month, celebrate and appreciate yourself and do something special for you. Let us celebrate strong women. “May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them”.
Silindokuhle is an Industrial/Organisational Psychologist registered with the HPCSA. She holds a Master’s degree from UKZN and runs an independent practice specialising in psychological assessments, training and wellbeing.