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Women make the difference
Published on: Sunday, March 25, 2018

By KM
THE significance of International Women’s Day (March 8) is increasing year after year, and these days it is a celebration of respect, appreciation, love and care for women.

I am glad to know that Women’s Day is also celebrated in colleges and universities now, and this will instil respect and care for women in the minds of young people.

It also allows me as an educator to spread knowledge and awareness of women empowerment, our position in society and our achievements, which form an essential part of my teaching.

Being a woman myself, it really feels nice to have a special day for women when they can be appreciated and honoured.

But I feel that women should be respected not just because they are women but also because WE are individuals with our own identity and we contribute equally for the betterment of society.

If I could be a little biased, I would say if there are no women on earth, then mankind would cease to exist because it is us who bring life.

Every woman is special whether she is working at home or in the office or doing both.

She plays an important role in the upbringing of children and managing her home efficiently.

Perhaps I have never wished the women who played an important role in my life “Happy International Women’s Day” verbally. But deep in my heart, I always thank them for being in my life and shaping it to be the way it is today.

I had a few women teachers in my life to whom I am grateful until now. I would not have achieved this much without the encouragement of, to name a few of my dedicated teachers, Ms Rahim, Ms Tan, Ms Teoh and Mrs Kanniah. They all inspired me throughout my school days.

And, of course, there was my mother who, even though she was illiterate, encouraged me to pursue higher education.

I believe every girl and woman should be given the right to have proper education.

Education is the only means to liberate women from exploitation, discrimination, mistreatment and abuse.

I would like to advise parents not to deprive their daughters of a good education; and to my fellow women, please don’t neglect our traditional roles as daughters, wives and mothers however highly educated we might be.

Everything combined makes us indispensable.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was born in a rubber plantation to parents who were rubber tappers, and I grew up with 10 siblings.

I am the first woman in my family to go to university. In fact, I am the first woman in my family to sit for the MCE.

It was not easy for me to enter university but with encouragement and financial support from my eldest brother, I am proud to say that I am a successful educator, having been in government service as a teacher for 33 years and then in AIMST University for the past 10 years.

For me, being born a woman is a gift of the Almighty. A woman can achieve anything if she wants to.

Today’s woman is no longer a dependent soul; she is independent and self-reliant in every respect and is capable of doing everything. There are now more women in universities and about 45pc of engineering graduates in Malaysia are female compared to 17pc in the United States. And it is only going to get higher in the years to come.

Empowering women is very necessary to achieve gender equality. Societies where women are given equal respect and are not taken for granted flourish well.

Today’s women realise their strengths and abilities and are stepping out in order to contribute to the family, society and, consequently, the world. So let’s recognise their existence and motivate them for future achievements.

KM

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