I've just been to a Women's Day breakfast (yes a day early) where many successful strong women talked about how Women's Day came about and shared stories of special women and how they had overcome obstacles in their lives. Towards the end of the breakfast I had trouble staying as all I could think about was how grateful I was for how far women's rights had come, and how incredibly upset I was that there was still such a long way to go. Both my Mother and Grandmothers have worked all their lives (Mum is still working at over 60!) I admire these amazing ladies so very much, they raised families, had jobs, where there when needed, and raised wonderful male and female children who respect the opposite sex. It doesn't matter if you stay at home and look after the kids, or go to an office to work, or do both (like my Mum) or neither, whether you live in the 1st world or 3rd world - you are worthy of love and respect, you should be able to dream and pursue that dream if you choose!
I have to say I am very thankful that the important men in my life don't consider respect, equality or choice to be a Women's rights issue but a human right. I have never been beaten or abused by someone I love, I have never had someone I love put me down, tell me I'm worthless or that I cannot do something because I am a woman. I wish there were more women out there who's experience was the same as mine, I wish I received the same treatment from ALL the men I have come across in my life - sadly this is not the case. For all those women who are beaten, abused, put down or who have had to swallow their own dreams - my heart goes out to you and I am sending you a BIG warm sparkly hug. You are stronger than you think ladies and it is our job to let people know women deserve to be treated better.
If you are reading this and you are in an abusive relationship or need help, please contact the closest Women's center in your area - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
So to all those out there who need a little wake up call - women are not your servants, are not your punching bag, are not your sex toy, they are not there to tend to your needs or sit quietly in a corner while you live your life. Women are not 'less' than men, they are your partners, your daughters and sisters and mothers, they are your co-workers, your friends and your future - start treating them as such.
Sending big hugs to all my sisters on this International Women's Day where ever you may live,