We do not need Mother’s Day to cherish our mothers or Valentine’s Day to love our partners, but we often enjoy the fun and gesture at the heart of these special days. What about Women’s Day? I’m not questioning that women should be celebrated, but do today’s emancipated and empowered women not feel patronised by a day in their honour?
Women are special and important to us not least because they are mothers and wives. Although these jobs require women to be caregivers and emotional guides, these are not soft jobs, they demand unselfish commitment and determination.
Of course, women’s importance also extends to their significant roles in all other areas of life. They are leaders in business and politics, they form opinions, educate new generations and their spending power and importance to economy and industry are well recorded.
Women have come a long and an uphill road for the recognition they receive today. It is important to acknowledge this. They had to fight for political emancipation and the right to vote. They are still fighting for equality in the work sector, business place and when it comes to remuneration. They still often suffer abuse – even in the places they should feel safe. They still are our mothers and primary caregivers, but their drive to be more, to mean more, to make a difference, has always required dedication and devotion to their cause. I think this is why we have to celebrate Women’s Day.
In life, sometimes to treat people equally, you have to treat them differently. This is not always easy to define and it takes insight and emotional intelligence – concepts we can often learn from the women in our lives – I certainly have! So, if Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to consider what it took for women to find their rightful place in society, to recognise their important and global contribution in all aspects of life and, definitely, to celebrate the women in your own life, I say, Happy Women’s Day!
Women’s Day in South Africa, is celebrated annually on 9 August.