It’s that wonderful time of the year again where we take a moment to appreciate all the amazing women around the world and their achievements.
Simultaneously, the spotlight shines on problems women continue to face and many organizations run campaigns that address issues such as continuing inequality, education of girls and violence against women.
It’s an important day that celebrates just how far we have come, even from when the event started in 1911. This year, the focus is on women who "make it happen."
The theme aims to encourage active steps toward advancing and recognizing women.
Each year, women all over the world are recognized for their achievements.
These women are an inspiration to everyone, but we should also take the time to appreciate the women in our own lives.
It’s hard to deny the influence most of our mothers have had on us. Raising a child is no easy task, and a good mother can be the most inspiring woman of all.
My mother taught me life lessons that have contributed to my successes — most importantly, that my gender should never be a limitation.
She gave me a fantastic education, bought me snacks as I struggled through my exams, medicated me up when I was sick and stayed on the phone with me late at night when I was having problems overseas.
She gave me my foundation, and for each achievement I reach, there’s a part of it that belongs to her.
Our Best Friends
The influence a girl’s best friend has on her is immeasurable. You’ve cried together, gotten white girl wasted together, indulged in guilty pleasures (that "Gossip Girl" and ice cream marathon was so bad yet so good) and been through all the ups and downs.
She probably knows more about you than your family does.
I am fortunate enough to have a best friend who is supportive, hilarious, completely weird and utterly irreplaceable. Who else is going to help you put your outfit together for an interview or get you pumped up for that first day of work?
A true friend is damn hard to find, but when you get it right, a best friend is definitely a women worth celebrating.
Our Overachieving Friends
If you didn’t love her so much, you’d probably hate her. Everyone has that one friend who just seems to do life so much better than anyone else.
She’s aced her way through school, gotten the perfect job everyone else wanted, has more extracurricular activities than Mr. Grey has different shades and somehow still finds time to be with her equally-overachieving boyfriend.
While you are convinced she has more hours in a day than you do, this girl is completely inspiring and drives you to do more and be more.
She has that "why not?" attitude that rubs off on you, and before you know it, you’re a little bit more like her every day. She’s going to change the world one day and that may very well inspire you to, as well.
Our sisters used to drive us crazy, but as we grow older, we start to fully appreciate them for the wonderful people they are. My sisters are so vastly different from me, they always force me to see things in a different light.
Plus, arguing with them throughout my childhood is probably what inspired me to go into law. If you have a younger sister, she probably helped fuel your mothering instincts and propelled your sense of responsibility.
As you both grow up, she starts to return the favor by being there for you just as much as you were for her.
If you have an older sister, you’ve been able to see her go through everything first and have always had her there to help you.
Sisters are the best friends you didn’t have to find because you were lucky enough to be given them.
Our Other Mother Figures
Whether it’s a grandmother, an aunt, older cousin or a family friend, we all have that other mother figure who is there when our mothers can’t be.
Unlike our mothers, there is very little parenting and it’s more about simply sharing. These women are wise with experience and kind enough to share bits and pieces of their knowledge, probably over tea and biscuits.
She's the person you call when you’ve had a fight with your parents or when you need some judgment-free parenting. She lets you make mistakes and leaves the lecturing up to your parents; you respect the hell out of her for that.
Our Celebrity Crushes
Alright, so she’s not technically in your life, but with the amount of online stalking you do, she may as well be.
Here’s to Beyoncé, Emma Watson, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres or whoever else it is who inspires you daily on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
When we’re fighting for equality, it is always empowering to see women in the spotlight proud of who they are and proving women can very much #MakeItHappen.
While we appreciate the present, we also reflect on the achievement of past heroes, such as Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher and Marie Curie who got us where we are today.
This year, I’d like to take the time to give kudos and hugs to the women in our lives who inspire us. There are little ways we can live up to their roles and it starts with being a positive female role model.
I am where I am today because of the women around me.
So, this International Women’s Day, find the time to thank the women in your life and appreciate their actions that help make the advancement of all women possible.