As the day approaches for the commemoration of the 2020 International Women’s Day, I
continue to reflect over the obvious long flux in the history of women and ‘acceptance’
by society. And, by now, I do hope that I am not the only one seeing from a prism of the
new thinking that women virtually have nothing to ‘prove’ anymore in order to show that,
not only are they not human but undeniably superhuman!
This new thinking really has nothing to do with many old stereotypes and socio cultural
constructions which put women on a pedestal of either exaggerated feebleness or
exaggerated ideals. But, really, recent history has shown that, with the persistency of
advocacy coming from women and womenfolk, laws, norms and normative ‘standards’
for viewing and accepting women continue to change, and these across countries and
throughout the globe.
In this reasoning, when I found that this year’s theme for the International Women’s Day
is ‘I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’, I totally yielded to the fact
that women have come this far not to ‘play’, but to really take over and take charge of
what they are truly deserving of ̶ that is, gender parity! I am an apostle of the idea that
women make up a significant half of humanity. As such, primordial and overbearing
structures that seem to suppress and depress women are the making, not only of men who
are believed to have erected them, but also of women who support such structures.
In going forward, the, men and women also must come together to engage the process of
collapsing these subsisting structures. Equality of the genders is indeed not a myth
anymore. More and more women, regardless of their racial background or circumstances
of birth, have been seen to accomplish great feats and indeed many of these have been
recognized by governments, international organizations, corporations and indeed by their
immediate local communities.
There is a realization that that men need to be increasingly willing and ready to work
together with women to create the kind of social structures and equilibrium that make
society more sustainable for both genders. However, with or without men’s support for
the cause of women, the paradigms are ready to be changed by women in this generation.
This year’s theme already provides that clue: ‘I Am Generation Equality’! As it said that
power is not served à la carte, women of this generation are gearing up and squaring up
to change the face of social developments through novel dimensions of social action.
I wish many more men would also position themselves for this change of paradigm, as we
already do at the African Women in Leadership Organization, where ‘I think, therefore I
am’ is gradually making way for ‘I am because we are’! That is the ideal place our world
can bring itself, going forward. And, while we reflect on these thoughts, I wish women
worldwide a happy International Women’s Month 2020.
Dr. Elisha Attai, Founder, African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO)