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What it Means to be a Woman

Published August 16, 2016 9:25 AM by Leatitia Coetzee

So as we all know August is International Women's Month.

And this got me thinking about what it truly means to be a woman. What power do I actually have as a woman?

I was blessed to be raised by a very strong and independent mother with a fierce strength and an unwavering love for her family and her children. She taught me to be strong, independent, smart, loyal and true to myself.

She taught me that I was beautiful and perfect in my own right and that I did not need a man to make me feel whole, that I could stand on my own and care for myself and my dreams. She taught me to think for myself, and my father taught me that being smart and educated meant that I would be a force to be reckoned with in my own right.

My parents both taught me that, when I fell in love and gave my heart to someone, we would become a team, growing in love and friendship, lifting one another up to become the best versions of ourselves. Never breaking one another down and always giving and receiving in love, patience and strength. I would be his equal, his best friend and his greatest love... not his slave or footstool, because I have my own will and can think for myself, and he would respect that in me, as I would in him. Supporting him in his dreams and ambitions, guiding gently and loving completely, caring deeply as a wife should according to the bible... not because I have to but because I want to.

Because a woman who is loved will bloom, glow and soar higher and higher.

I was blessed to be raised this way, but most women aren't that lucky. In some countries, women have absolutely no voice, no rights and no independence or true love. They are bound to men by tradition, laws, responsibility and constrictions. These women are raised to believe that they are owned, they are nothing alone, they have no strength and voice. That they cannot exist without a man to rule them. Somewhat medieval, if I have to say so.

We live in a time where you would think women's rights are there to protect, to speak for those who cannot, to save the lost and heal the broken... but it does not always work out that way. We still have such a long way to go to ensure that all women are treated everywhere with equal rights, opportunities and privileges.

I believe that if a man is raised well by a strong, happy, loved and nurturing mother, who is treated with respect, dignity and grace by her husband, he will grow up with a sense that a woman is someone who must be treasured and loved, that she is his match in every sense, not his possession. That he must lift her up, protect and guard her heart and life as she would for him. And in the same sense a girl should see her mother love and adore her father. Treat him with love and kindness, respect and loyalty. Aiding him in his dreams and passions.

This would, I believe, ensure that fewer women would enter into abusive and toxic relationships; they would choose a man based on his principles and not his looks, his integrity and not his money, his faith and not his possessions.

I honestly believe we have come such a long way in protecting and uplifting women and how they are treated, but we are not done yet. Together we can make future leaders with strength and grace, willfulness and independence, nurturing and beautiful women who will be mothers, lovers, healers and partners to strong, determined, faithful and powerful men of God.

I am proud to be a strong, independent, loving and kind, beautiful woman.


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