2 articles Tag International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day – A Letter to My Daughter

To My Darling Daughter,

It seems only fitting to me that on International Women’s Day I should write to you, the single most important female in my life. You will, one day, be a woman and I hope that you have daughters too, for having a daughter has been the single most rewarding experience of my life.

You are my world.

I cannot express my gratitude at being blessed with a daughter who has the kindest heart of anyone I have ever met, a daughter who carries the weight of the world with her and wants to make it all better. Seeing the sadness in your eyes when you think of those less fortunate than yourself breaks my heart and mends it all at once when I see your determination to make a difference to the world. Quite remarkable for someone of less than five years old.

You have filled my world with laughter, happiness, dancing, art, singing, stubbornness, worry, frustration, wonder, joy, sadness. You make me feel in a world that is so often numbed by external forcesand for that I cannot thank you enough.

It’s my job, as a mother and a woman to make sure that you know certain things and while I may not know everything just yet, my 28 years of life have taught me the following:

Never allow yourself to feel owned by anyone or anything. You belong to you and you alone. Always take the time to find joy in the smallest things. The light of the moon, the miracles of nature, a smutty joke. It’s all good. You can be anything you want to be. Your Dad and I will always be here for you. We’re your biggest fans and you are our single greatest love. Beauty is whatever you want it to be and you can see it everywhere if you only look hard enough. Friends are important. Never take anything for granted. Be happy. 

As a woman, you may find that you’re underestimated of overlooked. Being underestimated is just fine. Enjoy the look on people’s faces when it dawns on them that you are SO much more than they expected you to be. Being overlooked is not good. Kick and scream until you get the recognition you deserve.

Forget the labels. Be it the ones in your dress or the ones people put on you. They don’t matter. All that matters is that you have total agency over yourself and your body. Keep it that way.

There are no ifs and buts when it comes to love. Your Dad and and I met and married within 6 months, despite everyone’s objections. Our mantra is “when you know, you just know”. It’s a good thing to remember.

I can only hope, as a woman speaking to someone who will one day be one, that I’ve done a good job, raised you with confidence, intelligence, empathy and grace.

Trust me kid, you’re going to need those things to make it in this world.

Love, Ma xxxx

 

International Women’s Day – Sightsavers

Because today is International Women’s Day I have a guest post from the charity Sightsavers for you all to read. 

Today is International Women’s Day. We’d like to celebrate a very special group of women, lady health workers, who, in developing countries, go door-to-door to provide access to free eye care services made available by us and our partners. These women work tirelessly to help prevent avoidable blindness, travelling to some of the poorest, hardest-to-reach neighborhoods, striving to improve the health of their community.

Case study – Jeba Ansari, Mumbai, India

Jeba a Young Muslim health worker shows the right way of wearing specs to one of the resident in Dharavi slums in Mumbai to find who has eye problem.

Hirabai Bayle, living in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, shares a tiny home with her mother, teenage son and four sisters. Her husband left her and her son and now Hirabai earns £13 a month to support herself and her son, selling bananas and stitching gloves in a workshop. 20-year-old lady health worker, Jeba Ansari, visited Hirabai and diagnosed her as long sighted. By providing her with glasses, Jeba ensured that Hirabai could continue to work and remain financially independent.

Case study – Sarwar Kausar, Pakistan

Inspired by a need to support her community, Sarwar Kausar became a health worker after finishing school. In countries like Pakistan, many women must be chaperoned to appointments with male health workers, which can be hard to arrange. Thousands of women go without examinations, suffering from eye health problems like cataract and trachoma. Lady health workers can visit women at home when male family members are away, passing on key medical advice to prevent eye diseases and infections.

Case study – Samina, Karachi, Pakistan

Having trained as a doctor, 33-year-old, married Samina decided to become a lady health worker, and eventually trained to become a Lady Health Supervisor (LHS) in the Karachi district of Pakistan. One of around 100,000 lady health workers in Pakistan, Samina overcame prejudice from within her own village, as a women receiving professional training, and now continues to work hard to free her community of eye health problems.

Please visit the Sightsavers website to find out more about their work and to donate to the cause.