International Women’s Day is an important day to mark. We have a lot to celebrate. Because of the determined work of many women who have gone before us we enjoy today more freedoms and opportunities than ever before in human history. We remember with some shock that the movement towards giving equality to women is still, in many ways, in its infancy. It was only in 1929 that women were finally considered “persons” in the eyes of the law!
But for me there is lots of sadness with this day too. In my work, I hear stories all the time of how women are robbed, by their partners, of their freedom of thought and expression. And how they feel controlled and manipulated to the point that they feel that they have disappeared as persons.
Important advancements have been made in public spheres but some days I wonder if much has changed for women in their private and intimate lives.
This week, in one of the groups I lead, two women shared how they were feeling themselves come alive again after being a part from their respective partners for several months. They were finding joy in life again and doing things “they never would have been allowed to do” with their partners.
Once again I thought, what is this world being robbed of when women are “shut-down”, silenced and squashed by their partners oppressive behaviour? What gifts is the world missing out on? What beauty? What joy?
I will celebrate this day but I also look forward to the day when every woman is free to become fully the person she was intended to be.