Appreciating the Women Who Went Before Us
When we think of women who paved the way, we think of Cleopatra, Martha Teresa, and Rosa Parks, or whoever your female role model might be. What we, however, neglect to do is acknowledge the lowliest in our communities or even our grandmothers for the sacrifices they made so that their daughters can accord us better opportunities. We overlooked the first women who joined male run enterprises and continue to do so. While these famous women and those like them made their mark in history, we ought to salute the women who stood with them.
The consciousness that women everywhere, in their way, are fighting for change should always be with us. For one it is a thought, for another, it is sitting in an HR office demanding equal pay. For another still, it is scaling up the ladder to install soffit at a residential home, or going underground to repair a faulty subway line. The appreciation that there are women who went before us so that we can enjoy such privilege should evoke in us two things.
The first is an appreciation of women who lighten our load. For all the women who fought to have a vote, to those who continued to say that women should drive too, they made the lives of the 21st Century woman that much easier, and we should be thankful to them. When our minds are in a state of gratitude, it would be near impossible to tear other women down who, like us, are living according to choices that, decades before, they couldn’t have possibly had.
The second thing is, out of gratitude should flow the act of service to the women who will come after us. Therefore, matching, debating, voting, rallying and even shouting for justice shouldn’t only be about the injustices we continue to face. It should be an action that flows out of thankfulness that we have a voice that we can use to impart change. It is saying thank you that doors have been opened for us to engage agents of change and not stagnate in the status quo.
In this privilege we should however not forget one thing; it is only accorded to a group of women and not the entire female population around the globe. Therefore, if you have the awareness that you fall into this category, it is your responsibility as a woman to use your social standing to fight for those without a voice and those who will come after you. It is not your duty to compare your platform to other women; it is your duty to use it to the best of your God-given ability.