Seeing as today is International Day of the Woman, I thought it would be rather fitting to use this post to celebrate women all around the world, strong women who play a role in my life and what the role of a woman means to me, as a young woman myself.
I am going to begin with the one woman in my life who for me and for many others is the best woman we know, my mother. Mothers hold a vital role in Islam, there is a well-known narration in Islam, ‘Paradise lies at the feet of your mother,’ for any Muslim readers, this may well have meant you spent your childhood literally looking under your mothers feet for Paradise! Though this narration may well be interpreted in different ways, it does primarily show the respect and significance of the mother.
A mother carries her unborn child for up to 9 months or even longer, she goes through emotional, hormonal and obvious physical changes to bring this little baba into the world. During ante-natal classes, we often advise women to connect with their unborn child, to talk to and get to know the little one, this helps to build the bond between mother and baby, a long lasting bond.
For me, my mother astonishes me, how she carried me for 9 months, gave birth to me and has looked after, nurtured and cared for me and my every need, no matter how annoying, till this day. Whether after a difficult shift or for a moan about general life, or exciting news, my first port of call is my mother, and if she doesn’t pick up it’s usually my sisters who have probably mothered me at some point in my life. So that was two lots of women who for me are absolute faves, my mother and my sisters.
As a practicing Muslim, Islam plays a vital role in my life and within Islam there have been many a strong woman, one being Khadija (RA), she was wife to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the first follower of Islam, she herself was a widowed mother who worked as a successful merchant to provide for herself prior to her marriage to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). In this very day and age, so much of that would be frowned upon from many societies, being a widow and remarrying, being a mother and remarrying and even just being a woman and working! This is just one example of women in Islam however there are so many more and for me as a Muslim; I aspire to take on the characteristics of such women and to break stereotypes and have the courage to fight for what I believe in.
The other focus for me is midwives, now midwifery is disproportionally a female dominated field as traditionally midwifery has been care for women, by women however in the 70’s, the first men were trained as midwives. So in terms of this focus, I am appreciating the works of all midwives, male or female, you’re pretty amazing.
Midwifery is not for the faint hearted, that’s for definite, it takes a lot of courage and determination to step up and take responsibility of a women and her unborn child. Supporting another woman through the birth of her child is valuable, building that trusting relationship and following through with it to provide care and comfort whilst also encouraging the woman is admirable, it is like balancing a billion and one things like a pro. Honestly speaking, midwives do not get the recognition they deserve, not many people will choose to wake up at 3 in the morning, rain or shine, to go and support a woman to deliver her baby.
I find it truly amazing when I come across midwives who have worked for decades and are still working simply because they love what they do! That type of passion for a job, a career, a lifestyle is not found in abundance in today’s world. This I find upsetting because I believe that you should do what you enjoy and what makes you happy and I am so grateful that I found what makes me happy; midwifery.
Choosing to become a midwife, gives me the chance to support women, through one of the most intense and vulnerable times of their lives. When they go through so many changes, suffering from hyperemesis (severe morning sickness), cramps, aches, pains, swelling, dizziness, headaches, constipation the list is endless! All this a woman endures during her pregnancy, and birth is something very specific to women, the pains of childbirth felt whilst bringing a new life into this world.
Each and every day, I see women, talk to women that are so very strong, they be mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunties, businesswomen, housewives, housekeepers, shopkeepers, nurses, doctors, midwives, designers, artists, models, cleaners, scientists, biologists, chemists, lawyers, solicitors, barristers, judges, no matter what we make up half the population, and give birth to the other half so we are pretty special and for that we should be given recognition every day!
For me, a woman I want my role to encompass someone who encourages others to reach their goals, to inspire other women to not let stereotypes influence their choice of career and to remind people that no dream is unattainable. I really hope you all enjoyed this post; it is basically recognising women as the pearls of society that we are.
A short message for all the females out there to embrace this sisterhood and instead of falling victim to the competitive nature of the current world rather support each other and empower as strong female pioneers!
There are so many other women I could write about, who I find influential, who have been pioneers and have changed the world in someway or other but I might just leave that for another day…
P.S. To add this is not in any way attempting to devalue or disregard men in case anyone feels as such but more to continue to attempt to break female stereotypes.
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