“If you are lucky enough to be raised by a strong woman, and convince a strong woman to marry you, you’ll realize we are nothing without the strength of women.” Justin Timberlake
My mother is an educator. Throughout my life, she emphasised and modeled the love of books and learning. She hasn’t yet had the opportunity to maximize her education, or express herself beyond teaching primary school, but I know she’s always wanted to. She worked selflessly for my brother and I to complete our education. She gave us that chance, and in her example, made it very clear that if we didn’t work to pay it forward, her efforts would be meaningless.
I am inspired by a speech given by Angelina Jolie to the most powerful women in film, TV and media. Her rallying call stuck with me , “There is so much that we have to change and fight for.”
She remarks: “Worried about my own experiences and my own pain, it was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home that I understood my responsibility to others.
And when I met young people struggling, limited by political socio- economic situation, and I learnt what life is like for most people in the world, and how fortunate I was to have an education, I realized how sheltered I had been, what my mother had sacrificed and I was determined to never be that way again.”
It was not always so that the privileges that woman possesses were hers. Every single inch of ground she stands on has been gained by the hard work of some women in the past (or in our case the present.)
Every generation has the potential to rise above the exploits of the last and make the way easier for the next. Unfortunately, I’ve realized, not everyone takes this responsibility seriously and runs with it.
This week I ask myself if I’m in the fight – if I’m doing enough (or anything really) to ensure that the freedoms my mother gave me are experienced by more (men and women). I ask if it can be said of me and you that, “(they) pushed the boundaries in our lifetime, so that we could be standing here today.