It is that day where we celebrate how far we have come. Welcome to International Women’s Day and make it great. You’ll see it all over the internet with people saying “Happy International Women’s Day,” with cute meme and emphatic, “Yes, we can.” For me, I can’t think about how far women have come without think about my own journey and the journey of the women behind me.
While I can appreciate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, I wonder about where we are going.
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event on March 8 going back to the first gathering of triumph in 1911. It’s a celebration of accomplishments and growth. It’s about making a positive difference for women. The annual celebration has grown into a call for action to work harder towards gender parity.
The History of International Women’s Day
First held in Copenhagen in 1911, more than a million men and women gathered to rally for women’s right to vote, hold public office, receive training and ultimately to try to end gender discrimination. The United Nations’ General Assembly adopted a resolution calling the day a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
Over the years, IWD has evolved and grown. Today, the day earmarks what has been accomplished but serves as a reminder to the next generation that the work isn’t done.
Single Mom Stigmas and The Need for Change
I hardly consider myself an activist of any sort. At the same time, I don’t mind creating a bit of a frenzy when necessary. As a single mom raising a son, I feel the struggle every day of raising a strong young man who will be a contributor to society. There are a couple stigmas I feel we fight every single day as single moms.
I know that single moms are the first-place society looks at when there is a young male issue going on in a community. This along with the stigma that single moms are just freeloading women who keep having kids to take advantage of the welfare system.
As I have taught my son, stereotypes exist because there is some truth behind it, so I can’t ignore the facts. Boys raised without dads have a higher propensity for finding trouble and not being well-adjusted. There are women who openly take advantage of the system.
Not Every Single Mom’s Truth
But just because there are stereotypes with stats to back them up doesn’t mean this is the truth for every single mom out there. More so, it doesn’t have to be a brand labeling every single mom, dooming them to some life of desolation.
My life as a single mom has had its ups and downs emotionally, financially, and socially. But when I look at the times that I’ve struggled, they were the result of my own personality traits and unexpected things happening.
What do I mean by that? I’m a risk taker, entrepreneur. I’m also very steadfast in how I want to parent my son. The result has been times where I chose to make less money so I could be more present with my son as he grew up.
What’s the Reality?
I’m a firm believer that we have more control over our lives than ever before. I have it within me to make as much as any man out there, if not more. It’s our own limiting beliefs that often get in the way. Get out and just get it done has been my philosophy my entire life. It’s worked well for me.
That isn’t to say that I don’t feel there is a need for advocacy and cohesive thinking to create better solutions. At the same time, diving in and focusing on your own solutions is the best starting point to launch bigger ideas of equality and success.
It’s up to us ladies. It starts with how we build our own home, the choices we make and then making the right advocacy choices to get things done. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I happen to feel that we are closer to equality than we think.