By Shahmeen Sadiq
These women never get featured in movies, magazines, on Instagram or LinkedIn or anywhere else. They don't get invited to sit on panels or speak to media personalities about their lives. They are the women who quietly, doggedly, with grit and resilience, hold up their respective pieces of the world.
These are the faceless nameless many who toil day and night in fields, in homes, in classrooms and clinics, in boardrooms, offices and stores, doing what needs to be done to care of their families. They may be young or old, single, married, divorced or widowed. They pay the rent, the mortgage, the bills, buy food if they can, clothe their children while dispensing love and caring for sick or injured family members, usually putting the things that MUST be done before their own needs. These women deny their own desires for enjoyment, decadence…even simple basic needs like enough water or sleep or nutritious food, a bathroom break, 5 minutes to watch the sun rise, in favour of their daily obligations.
They are workers, cleaners, teachers, therapists, owners of small or large businesses, farmers, performers, shopkeepers, women of wealth, and beggars, living lives of varying ranges of privilege, challenge and suffering. You probably know one or two of these women. They could be your boss, or the person who cleaned your office last night. Perhaps they teach your children every day or they served you your Americano Misto at Starbucks this morning...with a smile that you didn't even notice was designed to mask the deeper truth of their life.
You will never know the pain of their reality, because they would never share it with you. In a world where a few superheroes take up all the airtime and receive all the projected accolades, these unremarkable women taking one solid step after another each day are the real heroes.
Today, on International Women's Day, I urge you to look up. Look around and see these humble warriors. Acknowledge them with a smile, a greeting, a bow.
These are the women who quietly and fiercely hold up their worlds, and in doing so enable you to walk easily in yours.