Hey there beautiful and happy International Women’s Day! Today, the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women everywhere. And today also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s theme for Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. Why, exactly, do we need to “be bold for change?”
For starters, complacency is dangerous. We simply we cannot afford to sit back and wait for change or to continue to do more of what’s already not working in the hopes that at some point it will. We have to find our voice and speak out against the social mores and expectations that keep so many of us from even daring to aspire to the top of the ladder.
Part of the problem is that the sexism that props up the gender gap has become so normalized in our everyday lives that even we as women fail to recognize our own unconscious bias against our gender. And we don’t have to look too far to find examples of where women are judged more harshly than men . . . Our choice of clothing, challenging the status quo, or for being too ambitious (by both men and women) are just a few examples. The recent criticism leveled at Emma Watson for being a ‘fake feminist’ because of photos taken of her for Vanity Fair demonstrates just how much work still remains to be done for women to be able to own our sexuality and express our individuality without risking public scorn.
This issue requires a committed and consistent effort by policy makers, cultural and religious leaders, corporate decision makers, HR administrators and social influencers. It also requires every single woman and man who is committed to equality to take a look at how they may unwittingly perpetuate the problem and step up to their own leadership plate to call out sexism, lift women up and advocate for change. Boldly.
Yet, we cannot wait for power to come our way or for someone to give us permission to seek it. We have to be more ambitious. We have to find our voice and speak out against social mores and expectations that keep us from even daring to aspire to the top of the ladder. But you must start with the woman in the mirror.
Not only do we need to be bold in the sense of gender equality, we need to be bold in our personal lives, too.
So, what does being bold really mean?
According to the dictionary, bold is an adjective meaning:
- (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.
- (of a color or design) having a strong or vivid appearance.
What being ‘bold for change’ means to me . . .
Boldness for me is fundamentally about confidence and courage. It has to do with understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Taking calculated risks to respectfully step away from the status quo, and being ready to accept the consequences if things don’t work out. Refusing to get caught up in past mistakes or worry about future failures. Stepping forward to enhance the lives and well-being of those in need. And through persistent collaboration, helping women advance and unleash our limitless potential for equal rights.
Being bold also means breaking free from the mental and physical pressures that arouse within yourself due to social stigma. Giving yourself the energy and power to develop yourself in a positive way. The ability to be confident enough to grand yourself the respect you deserve. Having the willingness to act on, speak about and address the things which you are passionate about even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. And in doing so, you can bring change to the mentality of each individual, making others aware of the importance and role each one of us plays in developing a peaceful society.
To be bold means you must carry yourself with confidence and feel comfortable in your own skin. Realizing that women are only physically different from men, but not mentally, educationally, politically, socially or financially. Declaring to the world that, “Yes, I wear a bra and have menstrual cramps. But this doesn’t make me less capable of achieving success. No man can be who I am; that’s why I love myself for being a woman.”
Many movements are being initiated all over the world for ensuring gender equality. We can hear about it and women’s right everywhere in today’ date. However, being bold contributes to the more responsive and committed woman, for a change leading towards empowerment and equal opportunities. Being bold doesn’t mean coming to the street and shouting at people for women’s rights. Instead, it means to start change within ourselves, followed by well thought-out action. In order to change the current situation, we as women need to explore ourselves, which starts with your voice. Developing a strong will and taking it as an oath of courage for a better world.
But the beautiful thing about being bold is that there is no standard definition. Being bold means different things to each and every one of us. The bottom line is, in order for you to be bold, you have to be YOU! And in being bold, you can change the world. When you choose to be bold, then the perspective of society changes — the status of women becomes equal to men.
A single action from one woman can provide a beautiful future for all of womankind. A single woman can be the source of inspiration, leading the whole world to change the standards. If we are bold for change, we can excel at every level to create a more gender inclusive world.
What action will you take to #BeBoldForChange?
Today, make the decision to step up more often, to speak up more loudly and to be a fearless force for the change you want to see in the world. As Margaret Mead once wrote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The education and overall well-being of young girls:
Domestic violence and sexual abuse:
+What bold action will you take today for International Women’s Day? How are you celebrating today’s holiday? Tell me in the comments below.