The fastest way to change a society is to mobilize the women of the world. ~ Charles Malik
The role of women in society is constantly changing. Each generation changes the next through their words, deeds, actions and inactions. 100 years ago it wasn’t acceptable for a woman to be anything but a daughter, wife and mother. Educating girls was often an afterthought. We lived in a male dominated society until one generation of women dared to dream. They learnt, they taught, they passed on their ideals and the next generation, grew up believing in equality. Each generation of educated woman since has slowly transformed our world to create today’s modern woman.
A great example of this change exists within my own family – my mother andmy sister.
My mother is a simple housewife. She lived her life through us – her children. Our achievements and successes were hers. Our failures and criticisms were hers. She loved us and encouraged us but her life was restricted to home and hearth. She wasn’t raised to want or dream of more.
My sister – studied hard, got married, had a child, took a break from work to see him through his infancy and then she plunged back into the corporate world knowing she had more, gifts and skills, to offer. She is not only a daughter, a wife and a mother but also a valued member of the work force. Her world expands beyond the four walls of her home.
One family, two generations, two very different lives. We are who we are because she ‘our mother’ encouraged us to dream.
I am a modern woman of today. I didn’t have to fight to be educated. I am surrounded by strong, independent women, who do not let gender define ‘who they are’. This positive environment makes it difficult to connect to the concept of women empowerment. Then you turn around and are confronted by instances of inequality, of chauvinism that still exists in many segments of society and realize the need for empowerment.
I do not believe, however, that empowering women is enough. We need to work for society to truly to change, to create a world where a daughter is no less valued than a son or a world where ‘rape’ does not exist. I believe we have reached a stage wherein enlightenment is as important as empowerment; for only when each and every individual believes in equality will equality prevail.
We as woman have the power. We are the ones that shape the future by educating our children. An enlightened woman raises a progressive child who ensures that our society continues to develop in the right direction.
Come let us become the change, we wish to see.