I dream of a day where celebrations of women’s day become entirely about women. Where world leaders stop talking about gender equality on women’s day as if being equal is the highest form of recognition we seek for in defining our roles as women.
Women of Malaysia are finding stars, flying rockets, competing to be astronauts, ocean drill and the majority of frontliners of a major 21 st century pandemic. The world is our oyster. Then at home we find time to love, teach and nurture our young, and care for our spouses and other family members.
All these we perform simultaneously, despite imperfections, balancing home and work life, with the utmost sincerity of our hearts. Despite the stress and the toil we brave forwards. These achievements are for the purpose of our own happiness, and to seek the pleasure of Allah our creator. These deeds are independent of any form of gender equalisation.
Be that as it may we do not rejoice in the reports of The Gender Global Gap that says Malaysian females are “consistently more excellent that their male counterparts in education, especially in the subjects of Science and Maths” for example. These males are our sons and our future leaders. As such they would need our support so that they too can enjoy excellence in any field they choose.
We are at peace with the fact that not all companies might find “30% managerial positions for women”. After all we’re consistently home managers anyway. And that is absolutely okay.
I wish that someday happens soon. So that my daughters do not find themselves constantly in a state of mental competition with boys each time they climb a social rung, and instead strive to learn and embrace their differences so that they find strength in complementing each other.
I #choosetochallenge gender equality and instead be my own woman. Defined by terms that are not related to rivalry against a fellow man and kin.
“If any do deeds of righteousness be they male or female and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” Al Nisa:124
Allah is enough as our Protector.
Dr. Siti Nurhayati Adznan, Activist of ISMA Alor Gajah