Often people around us, no matter what their gender, get away with a lot simply because we choose to be quiet and submit to the judgement, the taunts, the injustice, the discrimination, the constant reminders of bias… I can go on and on. I wonder what would happen if every one of us decided to stop and choose instead to challenge.
That is the theme of International Women’s Day 2021. And it’s a very important step. Change is far, far away. Before change happens, someone challenges the norm of the present day. That challenge sows the seeds of change, and before you know it, a tree stands tall, proud and strong, and the challenge has branched out and touched every part of society much like the branches of a tree.
Like the first woman who questioned why she couldn’t vote and paved the way for all women to have the right to vote – choose to challenge.
Like the friend who embraced divorce to suffering abuse on a daily basis – choose to challenge.
Like the first woman who ran a marathon and was attacked for it – choose to challenge.
Like the neighbour who chooses not to have children and be okay with it – choose to challenge.
Like the first woman who demanded the right to education and almost died in an attempt to silence her voice – choose to challenge.
Like the grandma who refused to babysit her grandchildren and took off on the trip of a lifetime instead – choose to challenge.
Like the first woman who scaled Mount Everest and proceeded to climb all Seven Summits without batting an eye – choose to challenge.
Like the wife who reminded her husband that they both lived in the house, and so both needed to do the house work – choose to challenge.
Like the first woman who became the first Prime Minister in the world when she assumed rule of an island country – choose to challenge.
Like the sister who refused to be treated differently than her brother – choose to challenge.
Like the mathematics wizard who churned numbers and answers out faster than a computer – choose to challenge.
Like the mother who became a CEO and brought up her children without missing a beat – choose to challenge.
Like the first woman who decided she would be a doctor and proceeded to do exactly that – choose to challenge.
Whether small or big, inspiring women are all around us. All it took was a choice. They chose to question, to demand, to challenge. And they all started with one small step.
Whatever it may be, start today with that one small step. Choose to challenge the status quo. Change will have no choice but to follow.