Celebrating the Real Heroes on International Women’s Day.

We celebrated International Women’s Day this month and it has become quite an institution, a national and international celebration of everything that is “WOMEN”.

To be honest, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a time for women to praise each other and be praised. To share our achievements, support each other and some amazing initiatives, and show how much we have impacted society. At the same time, I dislike the commercialization of what it means to be a woman, the fact that we still need to prove our worth and value, and the expectations of what it all means. As many have said before me “the fact that there even needs to be an IWD is depressing”.

In spite of my mixed feeling about this very important annual celebration, this month I am dedicating my blog to celebrating the women in my life who have paved the way for me. The women listed below have inspired me and shown me how to be a strong, powerful woman without putting any labels on it. These are just regular women living their lives not to prove a point, but are leading by example.

My Grandmother.

I have been blessed to come from a long line of strong determined women. It is a family joke that the “strong woman” gene is passed down from mother to daughter. My great grandmother and grandmother where both short in height but strong and powerful in personality, before it was even a feminist thing! My grandmother went into the family business as a young adult, and was a working mother, raising 3 daughters at the same time. She didn’t do this because she was a feminist or to fight for women’s rights. She did this because in her family it was just normal. My mum and her two sisters were also working mothers, raising families along-side working out of the home, studying, and volunteering in the community. Again these three women were not combining family and life work to be feminist or fly the flag for the feminist movement. They did it because they wanted to, chose to and were able to.

My female siblings, cousins and myself have been brought up and educated with these same values. Strong, powerful and determined, with the freedom of choice to decide our family-work balance, based on our needs and personal situation. None of us take this for granted. We are well aware that many women do not have the luxury of such choices, or families and spouses who support our decisions. And we are passing this message down to our daughters, to the next