Monday, 1 April 2013


March 8 was International Women's Day. This day is about celebrating achievements of women all over the world. It is a reminder of all the women, in our past and present, who have made a difference to the economic, political and social landscape of our society. There are:

The leaders: Catherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto

The glass ceiling breakers: Marissa Mayer and Gail Kelly

The trailblazers: Valentina Tereshkova and Amelia Earhart

The game changers: Rosa Parks, Aung San Suu Kyi and Germaine Greer

The pioneers: Maria Montessori and Dr Fiona Wood

The inspirational: Mother Theresa, Dr. Catherine Hamlin and Helen Keller

The influencers: Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama

The gifted: Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson and Billie Holiday

The sporting greats: Billie Jean King, Dawn Fraser and Serena Williams

The icons: Coco Chanel and Princess Diana

The pop culture phenomenons: Oprah Winfrey, Madonna and Beyonce

Each of these women, and many more like them, have made an enormous contribution to our society and have made our world a better place. They are very impressive role models and I am in awe of them. I find them absolutely inspirational, motivating and sometimes, a little bit daunting. Yes, daunting. At times, their lofty achievements make me wonder what kind of impact an everyday woman such as myself can have.

Then I remember all the other, not so famous women who do make a difference everyday to the lives of those around them. These women are all around us. They are our partners, mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, nieces, cousins, friends and work colleagues. It brings to mind the words of Anne Theriault who wrote that we should "assume that those who love you find some kind of value in you and the things you do".*

International Women's Day is truly about celebrating the contribution of all women, no matter how big or small. Because as I've said before, what we do is enough and we are enough, and no one (including ourselves) should tell us otherwise.** With that, I shall leave you with the words of Pink. Yes she is just a mere pop star, but she is also a wife, mother, daughter and working woman:

"Beautiful has never been my goal. Joy is my goal - to feel healthy and strong and powerful and useful and engaged and intelligent and in love" 

* From "15 Assumptions You Should Make Today",

** From mishmashes blog article "Sisterhood", published June 2012 (see blog archive)

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