Thank you woman for being a woman

Let’s celebrate Women’s Day by making a commitment to promote equality in all aspects of our lives
Today we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. This is indeed a very special day, as special as the women we are celebrating.

To me, women are very special because of the important role they have played and continue to play in my life.

Without the women in my life I would be lost. I am the person I am today because of them, so the least I can do for these women and all women in the world today is to say, thank you very much! I’d like to invite all men to do the same to all the women in their lives. Let’s learn to thank women not only today but every day, for everything they do to make the world a better place to live in.

International Women’s Day should provide us with the opportunity of reflecting on women’s rights and how we treat women in our societies. We should seriously reflect on the place of women in our societies and whether that’s their rightful place. The easiest way for us men to find out if we treat women fairly in our societies is by putting ourselves in their shoes.

As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, let’s seriously reflect on all the things we do every day, which we take for granted, but which unfortunately perpetuate injustice against women.
Let’s reflect on all forms of violence women are subjected to everyday. On this special day, my thoughts go to women and girls who are victims of human trafficking, forced prostitution, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), rape, women who are victims of domestic violence, of societal violence, of all sorts of violence without having a possibility of getting help. My thoughts go to the women without a voice, whose cry for help go unheard. We can’t allow this cruelty against women to continue. We must act to help free these women from those violent situations.

Unfortunately women are still victims of discrimination in all societies worldwide. Usually the focus is on developing countries where we quite often hear of cases of violation of women’s rights. The same focus should also be turned to the developed countries where women seem to have learnt to live with violations of their rights.

In the developed countries, we still witness widespread pay inequality. Women are deliberately locked out of boardrooms, they easily lose their jobs if they become pregnant, are underrepresented in Parliament and other government organs, advertisers and TV exploit women and their bodies for sexual appeal, etc.

In these developed countries where no woman wants to be seen as a victim, many who are victims especially of domestic violence suffer in silence as they make every effort to pretend they are fine. They want others to know that their families are perfect, so they bear the unbearable with a smiling face while protecting those who cause them immense pain. These women need to find courage to speak up, and whenever they do so, the society should be ready to help them.

Whether in the developed or developing countries, no woman should be subjected to violence.
A woman is neither inferior nor superior to a man. She is equal to a man. We may be different, but equal. Both men and women need to understand and appreciate this fact.

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day means celebrating equality between men and women, and making a commitment to promote equality in public policy and decision-making, and in all aspects of our lives.

By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a