I go to prepare a place for you. -Harriet Tubman
The year was 2018, I was still a struggling student in tertiary school trying out a new social enterprise I had named Green Arts Culture, for the love of the arts. As as writer, growing up to me meant sending out publications to newspapers and websites hoping to get published. Juggling school work and entrepreneurship was not easy and during my low moments, I found inspiration from movies, one of which was titled, “Harriet”. It inspired me to turn my challenges into ventures that allows for growth and productivity.
No matter the number of times I got no replies from editors, I still wrote to their newspapers. Even with the number of times I lost the courage to continue the work I do, I found inspiration from stories of amazing women kicking it in their various fields of endeavors.
This particular year was also profound for me because I began to embrace the idea of feminism and how to champion causes that advocate for equality of the sexes. I later on discovered women like, Harriet Tubman, Katherine Johnson and Madam C.J. Walker whose stories made me aspire to own my womanhood and be great at what I do.
These were distinguished women who set the pace for political and economic activism on women and human rights in their respective roles, centering on the needs and experiences of Black women.
Another woman who sparked my interest for the women empowerment agenda was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her voice and unique stories showed the way on how empowered women and girls can help to shape the world’s global economy. Chimamanda not only inspired my ideas on feminism but gave me the voice I currently use for my write ups by telling compelling women stories.
Today, as a professional, many women have gone ahead to inspire me and keep assisting me in my growth. Although the journey is seemingly tough, there are equally supportive men in my life who also keep making it a worthwhile journey through their encouragement and support.
As the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day goes, it is important for us to champion the cause of “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. Here are a few pointers on how we can achieve this while breaking the bias.
Love what you do
It is imperative of women to now more than ever love the work that they do. This will inspire greater works for positive change in our society. Harriet Tubman, for instance, was a known political activist who did not only free herself from slavery but also mapped out ways to free others. She worked as a spy to help guide many slaves into freedom and was known for never losing any one of the slaves she rescued. That is purely the mark of one who loves her work and who was dedicated to serving humanity.
Take off the weight
Many women today carry several weights in their relationship, careers, and general lifestyle. As a woman, you’re meant to be tough and strong but it is okay to pass on some of the workload on to someone who is equally capable. Society may call you names but you have to decide that this is not just your call and you need others to help you grow mentally, socially, economically and physically.
Advocate for change
Find a cause you are passionate about and make a call to action on that. Lead the change for progress wherever you find yourself. Be aware of the problems around you and help find lasting solutions to them. That is the only way your impact will be recorded in the sands of time. In short, find something worthwhile and dedicate yourself to making it grow.
Inspire the next generation
Use your work to inspire someone else to be a better person. By breaking the bias, we can use our stories to motivate another young girl or woman to get back on her tracks. Today, stories of amazing Ghanaian women like Ivy Barley, Lucy Quist, Regina Honu, Deloris Frimpong Manso, Gifty Anti, Joyce Aryee, Nana Aba Anamoah, Naa Ashorkor, Lydia Forson, Samira Bawumia, Rebecca Akuffo-Addo, just to mention but a few, keep inspiring the next generation with their grit and resilience.
To the successful women out there, may we know them, may we be inspired by their stories, and may we become them. A big shoutout to all my super amazing women readers!
Happy International Women’s Day!