It all started with a march that took place in 1908. Thousands of garment workers went on strike, marching through the streets of New York demanding better pay and working condition. Four years later, in 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated.
Every 8th of March, across the globe, women stand together, fight for the end of discrimination and celebrate those who have achieved economic, social, cultural, and political success.
Yet, in some parts of the world and indeed in many households, women still face discrimination and inequality. While they perform the bulk of household duties, it is often the men who get special credit for the little they do.
My mother did not have a beautiful life. Growing up, I occasionally witnessed her feeling helpless, afraid, and insecure. I did not know why. No one asked, ‘What can I do for you?’. Instead, she was made to feel bad with ‘What’s wrong with you?’.
It is only after learning about myself while exploring areas that stunt me from growth, that I got a glimpse of what would have been my mother’s despair. Through a long emotional process, I have learned to get through the feelings of helplessness and sadness. It is a constant battle, fighting not to be sucked in by the negative energy of others.
Not only was she a wife and mother, but for many years she was the main breadwinner. On top of childcare and household chores, she provided us with basic material needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. She was a proud woman who never asked for help. She portrayed herself as a strong woman when she was probably on the brink of despair. She gave up her independence dedicated her life to the ones she loved.
Why didn’t she challenge the discrimination and inequality she must have felt? Her sole purpose was to love and guide her children and stand behind her husband. She inspired us to go to great lengths to attain our potential. Did she struggle with mental health? I have not a single doubt though she hid it well.
My mother laid the foundation for the person I have become, through her hard work and selflessness. I cannot thank her enough for the love and support over the years; for working so outrageously hard to give me a life worth living. She should have been celebrated every single day, not just on Mother’s Day. She should have been celebrated for being an exceptional woman, a jewel, a rare pearl.
On 14th of March, it is Mother’s Day in the UK. While I will be celebrating the bond that I have with my children, I will also take a moment to think of the one woman who dedicated her life to motherhood. A beautiful soul who was never celebrated as a woman. My role model, my mother.
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou
“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” – Michelle Obama
To my mother, the woman God created. Happy Women’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day