Released by recording artist Klymaxx in 1981, the song, “Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman” borrowed a slogan coined by the advertising agency of Ladies Home Journal forty years earlier. It is a sad reality, however, that this maxim brings to light the fact that women are still devalued and under appreciated for their contributions to civilisation 76 years later.
Through their repression the world over, women are quite often treated as secondary citizens by the members of a reigning patriarchy which continues to govern modern society. Although great strides toward women’s equality have been made in most industrialised countries, the greater threat of abuse and maltreatment of women and girls continues to linger.
And while the victimisation and objectification of women runs rampant in today’s mainstream rape culture, advertising industry and ongoing trend of domestic violence targeting women, so many are still choosing to follow in the historic footsteps of their foremothers – those who forged the women’s suffrage path – to make their voices heard and their worth known to the world.
The burdens that women routinely bear are no small feats, and in fact, demonstrate the power that each estrogen-laden being possesses. All around the globe, women assume most domestic responsibilities or care work in their homes, and in many instances, these duties are in addition to a full-time job.
And by "domestic," I mean housekeeping chores, cooking, child-rearing, and providing elder-care. Worldwide, it is estimated that women spend two to ten times more time on unpaid care work than men. To put that more plainly, males spend more time on leisure activities each day while women spend more time doing unpaid housework. This means there is less time for education, relaxation, or self-care for most the world’s female population – a stark contrast to what men enjoy.
Further, women continue to suffer from laws in 90% of the world’s countries, particularly in developing nations, which prevent them from acquiring an education, obtaining employment outside the home, being paid wages equal to their male counterparts, or enjoying the same freedoms and liberties that men are afforded.
But despite all that, women continue to rise up and brave their environs, to put their best foot forward, to dream of a day where they are just as able to thrive in this world as their fathers and brothers.
For, you see, a woman’s power lies within her ability to endure, her capacity for empathy, and her continued sense of selfless duty to others while recognising the greatness of her own spirit.
Each woman is born with the essence to own her destiny and a sense of being a part of a larger entity. Whether she is permitted to fulfil her role in this world, or not, a woman is an awesome display of courage against the odds.
Because she will wait patiently for the time to come where she can spread her wings. She will shoulder the load, stifle her tears, and overcome her fear of walking alone after dark because she knows there is something better in store for her.
It is one of man's greatest mistakes to underestimate a woman's power, courage, contribution, or strength. And when millions of women from all seven continents decide to band together as they did on January 21, 2017, their power becomes unignorably evident.