I grew up learning how International History proudly claimed that Benazir Bhutto was the first Female Prime Minister of a Muslim country, I grew up taking immense pride over the fact that how gathering immense courage, the brave daughter of Nepal Pasang Lhamu Sherpa booked her name in history and proudly held our nation’s flag in the peak of the world. Today having the the president of the country as a female leader, and seeing so many of our female talents blooming in all sectors, it does bring an immense sense of pride .Without doubt, we have witnessed and have been hearing so many success stories that probably till a decade ago would have been imagined as nearly impossible.
Today as our generation observes, we proudly own the badge of not being afraid to walk forward, to own our decisions and to follow our dreams, to learn to voice our opinions and to be bold enough to take a stand without having to be limited by our gender. Today both cultural and social structures have been lenient towards gender equality and I believe that even compared to one generation ahead we have been given the opportunity to really boldly experiment with our talents; technology has given a wide and flexible platform to express ourselves. To a large extent being a woman, is no longer a limit or restriction to define our capabilities and talents.
Our definition of success is so personal and each one of us defines happiness, success, struggle in our own context and understanding of life. However, the freedom and liberty to dream, to aspire to do something and be someone in the walk of life, should be an inherited right. There are many differences in every individual’s success journey, but the one thing that is out and loud clear is behind every success story there lies a fearless capacity to dream. Being a female should never be an option or reason for limiting the horizon of our dreams. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”- Walt Disney, it all begins with the courage to dream.
At one side there have been landmarks and milestones accomplished by females, they have truly broken the “glass ceilings” and through their own persistence,endevours and support have made their beautiful dreams turn into concrete realities. Truly, this is a worthwhile reason to celebrate.
On the other side, today when I look at our young girls, especially our young sisters who gone through tough times in their lives, whether it be harassment, abuse, physical and mental torture, early forced pregnancy, child marriage, my heart aches. I feel a sense of shame, a sense of deep loss every time these young souls are tortured and deeply feel that what is happening to them is simply the fault of their gender. It brings a sense of pain that they are scared to dream and fear that they are not entitled to dream because of their gender. This is a painful irony, that while some of us have reached heights, broken barriers; some of us are still afraid to dream, are afraid to aspire to be someone, be afraid to listen to our voices.
Our young girls, who have been a victim of pain and harassment because of their gender, this is a shame for all of us. Our young girls who should be dreaming of becoming a leader, a celebrity, a sportswoman, and the list goes on, are hiding in a cocoon shell because they think even dreaming is a sin.Untill, each and every girl-child is proudly entitled to dream, until she proudly feels that it is her right to dream and pursue to follow her dreams, the milestones we have reached cannot be fully celebrated.
Every time we envision a developed country, every time we dream of a prosperous country, we know that we are dreaming of a nation that has full-fledged freedom to dream. When we shout out loud on Gender Equality, we must not forget that until and unless every girl-child feels safe and secure to dream, gender equality will always be half-defined.
Today as we celebrate International Woman’s Day, with the theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovative for Change“, Let us make a pledge, all of us hand in hand to celebrate the power of every girl child to dream, to aspire, to voice her opinions, to own her decisions and most importantly own her gender with a full sense of pride. Let us Work together in any and every way that we can, where we hear our young girls shouting out loud ” I AM NOT AFRAID OF DREAMING”, Happy Women’s Day to all of us.
Section Officer, Office of the prime minister and council of minister