As you read this, know, that the world has done you a great dis-service every day, because you are a woman or a girl. You have received less glory for your achievements, you have received less pay for the same job, less reward for the same and often greater efforts and seen as weak or less ambitious for being kind and forgiving and patient, when in reality those qualities take more strength and endurance than any other. We live in a world where still, too many girls are denied education and opportunities because of their gender.
When I think of women and girls, i don’t think of pink and pretty because i think of the hundreds of women i’ve known over the course of my life who have had the strength to live through greater difficulties than many men probably know, triumphed in greater challenges, and struggled through problems so meaningful, that in resolving them, you gifted unity and peace to those around you as well as greater wisdom to yourself. You learn throughout it all and you use that knowledge and share it. And I believe that more often than not, you persevered not for your own sake, but for the sake of others.
You are generous, you are valuable, you are courageous and strong, and that is what makes you beautiful. You are precious because the spirit of ‘feminine’ has not only been to have those qualities in spades, but likely accompanied by the grace, throughout every little difficulty, to still smile or to laugh or to make others laugh, to sit with someone who needs you or help someone out, instead of prioritising your own needs.
The greatest strength of the world is not muscle or bravado or fame or money, but the world embracing ability of women to love and support above all else. Without you, without your kindness, those around you would surely fail. As such, you own not only your own achievements, but the achievements of every person you’ve ever stood by or supported. This is what ‘like a girl’ means to me. That is what you mean to me, and that is why it is an honour to know even a few of you.
Happy International Women’s Day, Happy GirlCrew’s First Birthday, you deserve tea, cake a hug, some dancing and a massive trophy.
See those of you in Dublin at our party. Those who can’t make it, we’ll be dancing in your honour. I salute you all, elva xx