The 2022 theme for International Women’s Day is perfect: #breakthebias. It goes over and beyond gender equality, and everything about empowerment. Women have been breaking the strereotypes for several decades now, so to talk about standing out in a man’s world is becoming reduntant. If I look around my own social circles of friends and family, I am surrounded by strong, empowered women who trailblaze their own path in their own unique way.
#breaking the bias is a call to take a stand and level the playing field in society and the workforce, creating sustainable generations that will grow up in a world where board rooms are not mostly filled with men, or the salary disparities cease to exist, as well as the employment preferences that lean towards one gender over the other. We have come a long way from the days when women were raised to simply be good housewives and childbearers. I am grateful to belong to the generation that has been both and still manage to stand my own ground. Was it easy? Well, as many an author has said, nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.
I choose to #breakthebias every day by being both author and photographer, and not being forced to choose one or the other. Even then, I continue to #breakthebias by choosing to write about controversial themes that are not moneymakers like the more popular fiction genres. Sex and romance sell a dime a dozen, and I will be the first to admit that I am indeed a loyal customer. But who reads books writen by literary activists dealing with taboo topics? The readers are few and far between and an ant would starve on my profit margin, but that hasn’t stopped me yet.
Being a woman photographer in a male-dominated field who have mastered the mechanics and techonology for far longer than I can think of, is no easy task either. Though we are rising to the ocassion and gaining the recognition worldwide, it is still a struggle. But that is the point of #breakthebias – not to drop everything and make overnight changes, but to continue the steady pace of empowerment and earning the respect in our chosen fields, on our terms.
So raise your glasses and celebrate women’s achievements today, beginning with your own. You don’t need a fancy Ivy League degree to make a difference in the world.
Simply believe in yourself, your courage,
have faith in your skills and ability to think on the go.
Celebrate the soul that gives, nurtures, aches, feels, loves, yearns, dreams, and toils;
don’t let others tell you that as a woman you will never reach the top.
Celebrate your uterus, regardless of whether you bear children or not.
Celebrate the divine feminine.
#breakthebias and embrace the fact that behind every empowered woman, there are generations of men who paved the way for her to be there, whether they liked it or not.
#breakthebias: we are the empowered creatives, thinkers, developers, scientists, technicians, farmers, caregivers, first-responders, leaders, mothers, sisters, daughters.
We stand tall and no longer silent.
We set the standards, an not just abide by them or struggle our entire lives to meet them.
We keep the dreams alive.