International Women's Day: Remembering the Unsung Hero(ines) In Your Life

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06 March, 2023

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and like any other writer, I jumped on Google to find stories of inspiring women. And Google did not disappoint - Rosa Parks, Malala Yousufzai, Marie Curie, Michelle Obama - I was met by all the women we praise and hold on a pedestal when this day rolls around.

Yet as inspiring as Yousufzai and Obama are, we perhaps forget to remember and acknowledge the millions of ordinary women who do the extraordinary every day. On the day we ought to celebrate femininity and strength, we do womankind an injustice by not lending an ear to the everyday woman around us, from the shops to the streets. The silhouettes of women we pass by in a blur - they have deep stories to tell. Today is the day we sharpen the focus. 

From that frazzled young mother who comes to the office with milk stains on her shoulder and bags under her eyes to the woman who braces all odds and invests her life savings into her dream start-up - ordinary people don’t make headlines, but they still have inspiring stories to tell. So this International Women’s Day, I thought we should do things a little differently. 

I kept Google aside and reflected on all the quietly revolutionary women around me. 

I recalled my great-grandmother, who lived a life of admirable discipline, ethics and grace with five young children and a difficult husband. I recalled my grandmother who, even today, without a single moment of hesitation, helps every person in need she hears of. I recalled my aunt, who braved chronic illness for years while taking care of her ill father, with the light and smile of an optimistic child. I recalled my mother, whose 9 - 5 job fueled my house for years as my father built his dream from the ground up. 

These are the women who are not newsworthy enough to go down in history, but they touch and illuminate so many lives in so many invisible ways. An entire generation of my family owes their familial bonds, characteristics and values to these women, and I see it come alive every day. This is your cue to look around - look into the lives of ordinary women around you, and they may just appear to be extraordinary. 

Women are remarkable - the difference between those who are immortalized and those who are not, is simply the dimming of the spotlight. Today, shine a flashlight and see the amazing stories that go unheard. Happy International Women’s Day, make it a special one for the most important women in your life. 


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