An article celebrating dauntless women during International women’s Day 2024

My dear woman,

It’s another International Women’s Day and many organisations, leaders are echoing their commitment and pledge to have more women leaders. They are publicly announcing their dedication to support and run programs for women. Many have even set targets. Interestingly, those targets have not moved much since the past two decades I started tracking them.

 

Don’t get overwhelmed with these messages in March. They will be splashed all over the media and reiterated in programs and events. It’s quite a lot. Just like birthdays, everyone is celebrating you. In my experience, in April, it all gets forgotten. I know because your life is more than a month. I want you to ride on this awareness and create room for others, shine the light on those less seen. Invite others and show them the way, even in the face of your challenges.

 

I celebrate every day your gallant determination to push through your careers and enterprises. Intelligence and beauty are not mutually exclusive. It’s common for people to initially focus on physical appearance, but when they witness the depth of your intellect, it can be pleasantly surprising for them. So, smile, knowing that their oversight only underscores their misunderstanding.

 

“Dauntless” – that was the word the Nigerian team at FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024 chose as their team focus. That is your word. That ability to do anything you put your mind to regardless of the barriers. Time and time again, we see you come together and fight back when things aren’t going the right way. You make our world beautiful and non-homogenous. Don’t be carried away by all the noise around you. I see you and also, many more men are rooting for this cause more than you think.

 

Balancing your career or business responsibilities with roles as a sister, friend, spouse, caregiver, and mother is undeniably challenging. However, view this as a rallying call to action: as your sphere of influence expands, strive to cultivate an environment where women have the freedom to pursue both personal and professional fulfilment. Let it serve as a gentle push for you to advocate for and occupy spaces where you can actively contribute to shifting the existing paradigm for women in your community or workplace.

 

I deeply appreciate the profound role you play in nurturing life within you. Your courageous decision to embrace the call of nature and motherhood is commendable. While some may perceive it as an overwhelming commitment or undervalue this calling compared to their own, your choice is a testament to your strength and resilience. Whether you opt not to pursue the path of marriage or motherhood, your bravery in charting your own course should never waver. Keep forging ahead with unwavering audacity.

 

I decided 10 years ago, irrespective of all the goals to promote gender equality and equity in the workplace and society at large, the goal starts with me. I must be the change I want, live the change I desire, and work at the change irrespective of the challenges. It will take more than a lifetime. It is like climbing a hill. One that all mothers and grandmothers before us helped reduce. We are grateful for their sacrifices.

 

Our barriers to gender equality and equity are glaring like a hill to climb. In many ways, it seems the average woman has hills to climb. Would you join me in reducing these hills for other women coming up behind us even as we climb our hills together? Dauntless Women supporting women. I want to reduce some hills a bit for my daughter Sarah while she prepares to climb. I want to root for her as she climbs her hills.

 

Barriers to gender equality and equity suggest that we lack access to some rooms. If so, I have decided to break doors so they remain open for women. I am not trying to break open all doors or tie down every barrier. I just want one more open door forced to stay open. Access to just one more room. They might call it courageous. We might call it Dauntless.

 

I celebrate your bravery today as you stand tall and go for your dreams. Live your purpose not bound by others’ unconscious bias. My intelligent, smart, hardworking, and beautiful sister, each success we achieve enhances all of us. So choose to carry others along. Those ignored, without a voice, are not seen because of their age, colour, background, and societal status. Let’s always check the room to ensure we carry them along. When they feel like they belong, they, like you, can truly unleash their potential to make this world a better place.

My aspirational, beautiful, and smart woman, happy International Women’s Day.

 

Read More: I Am The Map