“Pretty woman wonders where my secret lies, I`m not cute or build to fit a fashion model size But when I start to tell them, They think I`m telling lies”(Excerpt from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou)
Why choose to start this article in such a manner, some may ask? Well- if we look at how the society today dictates how a woman should look, dress, talk and what career is fit for a woman; tells it all. I say my starting this article is on point. Being a woman in such a competitive society is draining and exhausting. Not only do you have to prove your worth as a woman in the workplace, you also have to do the same at home, society and different circles in life.
Reading up on different articles and viewpoints, we can see that women have been labelled as the Mothers of Nations. They are the nurtures, the home makers, the foundation builders in every child`s life. The values they inculcate in the lives of children are intrinsic to the person that child will become one day. Women ought to value that role in the cycle of life- you play a vital role. We need to know that we are the shapers and the builders of tomorrow`s leaders. When we see what is happening in our schools, we can understand why a woman stayed at home many years ago, to grow and nurture the kids. I am a result of that- my mom was a stay-at-home mom and she would constantly ensure that chores are done, and rules are adhered to. If we disrespected authority, we were properly corrected. Looking back, I appreciate it, as it made me the person I am today and I, in turn can impart that same values in the lives of my kids.
Recognise that you are a woman, who became a wife that is now a mother/grandmother, trying to survive in a competitive –sometimes masculine society. On your role as a mother, own your role as a builder; own your role as a homemaker. Wherever you find yourself in this circle of life- own it and make the best of it. We exhaust ourselves mostly by trying to compare our lives with others, we want to send our kids to the best schools, buy the biggest cars, and live in the most expensive houses. Yet, we neglect to realise that failing to positively impact our children, will have dire consequences.
Let us leave the aesthetics of life and focus on the rudimentary impact of our main purpose of Womanhood, that is raising truthful, purpose-driven, holistic, respectful men and woman entrusted to us to become value-adding human beings in this competitive society we live in.
The Value of a Woman can also be seen in her workplace, the role she plays is quite evident. Some can use this as punitive role, and some can use it a supportive role. Punitive in the sense that, you feel you have to fight for everything you have, you have to work extra hard to prove your worth, that amongst all of that, you actually forgot your worth. Some women become so harsh and defensive, it is sad to be associated with them or to work with them. They have developed a hard-external protective layer that automatically pushes people away and makes them know that “I am not here to make friends”. No, you can be a successful career woman and still have compassion and empathy- it is not a weakness. Can sisters please start to support each other in the workplace and stop breaking each other down? Being a woman in the workplace and striving to build a successful career is difficult enough, without having human female obstacles to contend with. Let us be each other`s crowns and inspire young ladies to do the same; let us be the change we want to see in our Organisations and in our Homes. Speak about the barriers that hinders us in being successful mothers as well as businesswomen.
Value your worth by understanding that you do not have to compete with others to get what is already yours. All you have to do is show up and do your best and let your worth speak for you. Build a legacy that will go way ahead of yourself and lead you to places you have never been before.
A woman of worth will be praised, and the work of her hands will be a testament to her worth. Don’t fit into the prescribed moulds of what you ought to be, it will be similar to fitting a square into a round hole. Let your uniqueness and your abilities be the fragrance that will attract your ultimate destiny.
By: Lee Ann Trower (SABPP-HRP)