For women

By Enid Westerlund 10 March 2024, 12:00PM

Happy women’s day and every day should be women’s day. Words are nice but actions are better.  Women and girls need to feel safe. This begins at home.  Fathers, brothers, cousins, husbands, whatever male influence or figure we have in our lives should be protective, loving and supportive.  

Girls and women need to feel safe on the bus. If you are a male, keep your hands to yourself. Keep your dirty, moekolo, coercive, seductive comments to yourself. Many of us do not ask or expect that from strangers, even if you know my father or my neighbour, know what respectful comments are, learn them and remember to use them. Culturally boys are raised to speak as much as they can, enjoy freedom and do whatever they like. They later turn into men who are entitled to the same things. Girls, not so much.

We are told to behave, look, dress, and speak in certain ways. If you say this is not so, then you are living in a nice bubble. Society has high expectations of women and girls. Be a good girl, remain a virgin until you are married, go to school, get a degree, get a good job, get married at a certain age, have one baby, have another one in case the first one is lonely, submit to your partner, husband, father-in-law and the list goes on. On top of that, make sure your house is clean, the children are taken care of, the husband is taken care of, the in-laws are taken care of, the list of expectations is endless. No wonder women go through so much stress! Have you ever heard a man huff, puff or sigh more than two times a day? Highly unlikely.

Men can wake up, enjoy their coffee, jump in the car and drive into his day with kids who are ready, breakfast already cooked, lunches packed for kids and a beautiful wife next to him also ready to work, who did all that before he even woke up. Now, I am not saying all men do this, there are exceptions, but the statistics do not lie.   We are not living in Utopia. These are men who have either been taught better, had a great example of a male role model growing up, learnt for themselves and apply themselves as mature, supportive men. Be those men and teach your sons the same things, so we live in a better world.

Happy International Women’s Day to all, I wish this for all girls and women:

To be safe in the home

To be safe at school

To be safe in the workplace

To be safe in church

To feel valued everywhere

To be loved, protected and supported.

To live life free of violence, any form of violence.

To access education.

To reach your dreams and fulfil your purpose.

To choose for yourself.

While we enjoy another day added to our lives, remember to be that good change in the world.

By Enid Westerlund 10 March 2024, 12:00PM
Samoa Observer

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