Tuesday, March 8 was the International Women’s Day and although there was little hype locally in commemorating the day, many international news outlets covered the event with features and interviews of women on various topics. To my fellow Malawian women and myself at that, I wish ourselves a memorable day and implore on us to make everyday such a day.
One campaign called #OneDayIwill particularly struck me as part of the International Women’s Day activities as deemed by Google Doodle. According to google.com, over the years, Doodles have commemorated the achievements of women in science, civil rights, journalism, sports, arts, technology and beyond. It’s always an honour to pay tribute to women who have changed the course of history, sometimes in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But for this year’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate the Doodle-worthy women of the future. “So we gathered our cameras and pencils and visited 13 countries where we spoke to 337 women and girls and asked them to complete the sentence, “One day I will…”
In a short video, women from all over the world and in different age groups are seen speaking about their dreams, including those already high achievers. In essence, we all still have dreams, regardless of our age or social standing. Agreed. But I look forward to the commemoration of a day when women are to celebrate each other’s achievements and their ability to work together in harmony and tranquility. Not that we do not have those type of souls, but more than half the time, whenever a group of this so-called vulnerable agents tend to waste time wrestling at each other’s throats than they are productive. We are the first to pull that other woman down with petty talk and gossip that range from her unkempt hair, nails whose last date of manicure is forgotten, her lousy accent, unruly make-up and mismatched outfit, never really on value adding substance. We are busy competing with each other on who has the most successful spouse, beautiful home, children abroad and how many servants we have at our call back home. Be it at the gym, church, workplace, neighbourhood, school and every social gathering, women just have to classify themselves in terms of status according to type of car being driven, area of residence and rarely, professional levels because mostly, we take pride in the achievements of our better halves than what we have to show for all the pomp.
I am sure most women achievers have tales to tell about their challenges that will not leave out unwarranted competition from within their own. Pride and confidence are good, but I tend to wonder why they rear their heads in the most unconventional of places. What is a status in a normal social gathering and why should it matter? Who cares what one had for breakfast, the type of vacuum cleaner and television brand in one’s home? Should material really define who we are supposed to be?
The above campaign ends with: “Now it’s your turn. Share your aspiration with #OneDayIWill and get one step closer to where you’re going.” My own input is; one day I shall be happy to be called the real woman of substance, alongside my kind. n