Proud to be a woman

March 8, 2014 by

Not too long ago I remember thinking that we, women inconvenienced ourselves by asking for equality with men. I was a sleep deprived mother of two young children trying to juggle high profile career, motherhood, marriage, and other commitments. I envied women from the past, thinking that they had it easier.

But then I remembered my grandmothers. Both of them were homemakers, financially dependent on their husbands. They were very intelligent women, but completed only grade four education as back then women were not given opportunities to finish school.

Proud to be a Woman

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography /

I remember my grandmother telling me to make sure that I get good education and a job, and to earn my own money. She loved her husband and kids, but I believe that deep down inside she wanted more.  My grandpa was the breadwinner. He would get paid at the end of every month. His first stop was the tavern to celebrate with colleagues.  Due to the fear that he might drink too much and waste his month’s pay, my grandma would send my mom and my uncle to the bar. She would instruct them to whisper in his ear “Mom told you to go home!”  My grandpa would ignore the message. Instead he would get juice and snacks for his kids and have them join the party.  It must have been frustrating for my grandma to rely on her husband, as she had limited education and skills to get a good job.  She had a strong character and determination. When she wanted something, she meant business.  My cousins and I joked that she would have made a good president.

Needless to say, this environment propelled my mom to pursue university education and get a great job.  She instilled in me the value of independence. Maybe she overdid it, as every few years I calculate whether I can support myself and two kids without my husband. The first time my husband found out about this, he was dumbfounded and asked me if I’m thinking of leaving him. “Off course not!” I replied. “You are my soul mate, but I need to know if I can support myself without you.” He looked at me, shook his head and said, “You need help!” He could be right. I’m a bit weird, but independence is very important to me, and I hope to teach my daughter the same values.

Now that my kids are a bit older, and I am less sleep deprived and working for myself, I feel very fortunate to live in this day and age where women have the opportunity for equality and independence. We have the same opportunities for advancement, although I believe that there is still room for improvement.

Women of the past had different trials than today’s women. I don’t know if they had it easier. Somehow we come up with an incredible strength to deal with the challenges of our times. We are an amazing breed, and I am proud and happy to be a woman.

Happy International Women's Day!

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