It is truly fitting that once a year the whole world celebrates women in recognition of the vast contributions that women have made. We have much to celebrate, opportunities are more abundant and women can aspire to be whatever they want to be. We don’t need to look at the statistics to know that the lives of women across the world have improved. We just need to compare our mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations with that of our own, each successive generation of women are doing much better than the generations before them.
We do have to acknowledge that much more remains to be done. Although more women have entered the workforce and quite a number have risen to the top, women continue to receive conflicting signals over their role in our society. On the one hand, women are encouraged to work but on the other hand, women are still expected to carry the majority share of the responsibilities at home.
Statistics show that globally working women perform substantially more hours of housework per week compared to male workers. The distribution of work at home is still uneven despite whatever progress women may have made. Perceptions about the roles of men and women at home need to change, otherwise more women will suffer from burnout and work life balance will decline. Assuredly we can see that more men are doing housework and taking care of the children but we need to see a bigger shift.
So in our efforts to encourage marriage, partnerships and parenthood, we cannot just focus on providing incentives and enhancing schemes to help families to have more babies. We also need to encourage a cultural shift so that co-sharing of responsibilities at home becomes a social norm.
I call on us all in the year ahead, let us be the example for young girls and boys in Australia and across the world that women’s issues are men’s issues too, embracing women’s success. Let us provide the inspiration to girls who want their horizons broadened, who want their sights lifted, showing that we are successful at what we do, being as passionate and committed to the causes that we champion. Let us all join together in a sisterhood of support for a world where all women are free to pursue their dreams and not held back by societal norms,
We know when women join together with a common goal, they are able to bring changes to their communities that would have been nearly impossible for one woman to do alone. That’s what sisterhood truly means, coming together to support each other through the hard times and working together to make life better for each other and for our children. One woman can change many things, but many women together can change everything.
“This life would have been meaningless without strong woman. Every circle of life witnesses empowerment, existence and strong influence of women whether as a Mother or wife, as sister or daughter” – Anon