The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

International Women’s Day 2015: Make It Happen

on March 8, 2015

I received flowers today for International Women’s Day. Not from Husband but from Mrs Cake Pops. Quite possibly an attempt to mask the smell of sweat I was emitting from doing this morning’s 10.5km Green Corridor Run. It was really hot! Husband does on occasion buy me flowers. Usually when they are meant for other people and we forget to give them so they end up mine by default.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Make It Happen’. Such a strong, bold statement. I like it a lot. Don’t just think about it, ‘Make It Happen’. 

Despite in modern Chinese culture where the men still inherit the land, I come from a family of strong women. Perhaps it is because the men inherit the land that the women are such strong characters. My Mum and my cousin’s have made it happen by setting up their own businesses. If there’s a new skill they want to learn they go ahead and do it. If there’s a question they want an answer to, I’ve asked on their behalf, unless it’s in Chinese. They can ask it themselves. I once felt so self conscious being the interpreter for much of my family. Often too young to realise the importance of some concerns and the implications of others. But now, I realise this is the only way you are going to find out anything and make an informed decision or get anything done. 

Only by questioning things can you make changes. For if you don’t question something then how do you know it’s right? Or the only way to do things? Or how things should really be? Every time we question something, we challenge perceptions. And only by challenging perceptions can we make change happen. 

So in support of International Women’s Day, I’m going to ‘Make It Happen’. 

I’m not sure what yet. But every year when it’s International Women’s Day and we celebrate women all around the world and I think about what it means to be a woman for me, I firstly remember that I have a life of privilege.  A right to education, to vote, to be in gainful employment, to have opinions and voice them, to be with a partner of my own choosing, to be able to choose a partner of any religion, ethnicity or gender. Already I can make a lot happen. 

But I can make a lot more happen.

For myself with getting on and doing the things I’ve felt inspired to do but haven’t quite got round to. 

For others around me with giving them the support they need to ‘Make It Happen’. Encouraging them with a listening ear and as #3 says all the time, ‘You Can Do It’. Or she says ‘I Can Do It’. And then she gives herself a Well Done when she’s done it. Usually jumping in the air with two feet. 

For others not around me by wholeheartedly supporting the importance of campaigns such as Everyday Sexism, No More Page 3, He for She. By exercising my right to vote and to take notice of the wider world and the challenges faced by women in other cultures and the challenges faced by both genders. 

And whilst there is the issue of Gender Equality to address, I strongly believe that women and men have a responsiblity to themselves and each other to ‘Make It Happen’.  

Whatever that may be. 

No one else can really ‘Make It Happen’ for you.  

What will it be for you? 




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