Our stories never begin or end in the same way. My story and yours start and end differently for our stories begin even before we are born.
Some begin with stories of our names. Some of our names are thought out to plant something in us, something that we might one day dream of becoming – liberty, joy, ascent, strength, wisdom, grace. Other names are an inheritance from women who came before us. Women who rallied in the streets for their rights, grannies who fought to acquire land for farming because inheritance meant so much more to them than just being fed for a day, aunts who marched, mothers who pioneered. They begin as women started to recognise their power and the impact they could make when could cast a vote.
Our stories have grown and so our books have begun to be filled with ink. Ink that rewrites old stories and changes what it means to be a woman; rewriting what freedom means. Rewriting things being referred to as “soft issues” and moving these to become “central” issues. Changing labels are those who initially wrote the labels had never experienced these challenges before. And so in telling these stories women create themselves, unbecoming what was and becoming what is; walking into rooms full of opportunities with their heads raised up.
With the future in our minds, we strive to turn stereotypes to wings. Wings that not only allow us to fly through glass ceilings, but to fly to the moon and leave our flag there. We push to use biases as platforms that allow us to change the narrative and transform the future. We work to make it know that changing in policies is not just a favour for women but a developmental act for economies. So when we women step into rooms and take up roles everyone knows that we are not here for a diversity ratio. We are not just here to observe. that they are not in the room just to observe. We are not here for the title and perks, we have real authority. We are not just a presence, our opinions have weight and impact. Our rent has been paid!