Being a woman is difficult as women tend to compare themselves to other women and be like them. Some of us tend not being contented with what we have always wanting to be like another woman but ourselves.
Who is a woman? Comparing our definitions about a woman may be different but we should all agree that a woman like man has intrinsic human dignity that should not be violated and is neither given or can be taken away. The World Youth Alliance Declaration on Women states that, “A woman is an architect of authentic peace from the most basic cell of society to the highest levels of policy and decision-making, constructing conditions in which persons are given the chance to live in accordance with their dignity.”
Being a woman has been a long journey for me but everything that I have gone through is worth it because I have learned to appreciate myself as a woman but more than that as a human being. Self-love is a consequence of self-appreciation and so is self-worth and self–respect. You don’t need anyone to tell you how spectacular you are in this life. You can do it yourself and there is no greater goal than being your own inspiration and motivator.
I remember when I was a young girl when my mother told me that if I have nothing good to say about someone I should say nothing at all. This also applies when we speak to ourselves. I’ve seen how women tend to say negative and degrading things to themselves but at what cost?
We should be our own biggest fans. You should not wait for someone to tell you, that you are beautiful, shout it to yourself as you look in the mirror, because our Creator made no mistake by making you the way you are, and there is no one as beautiful as you. “You are not what others think you are. You are what God knows you are,” Shannon L. Alder once said.
When women realizes and understand their dignity and that they’re worthy of love, they reach greater self-appreciation of themselves and the life given to them. Through self-appreciation, women can advocate for their rights as women and dignity as human beings.
When a woman becomes her own best friend, life becomes easier. Women should see their own beauty first. As C. Joybell C. once said, “You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.”
At the World Youth Alliance, we believe that human dignity is the ultimate foundation for our rights. And as stated in the World Youth Alliance Charter, this dignity that each of us possesses is independent of any individual condition and that no human community can grant or rescind it.
Self- appreciation is important in realizing that one possesses intrinsic and inviolable human dignity. And we have an important responsibility to protect and defend human dignity.
To my fellow women, love yourself and respect others. The rest will follow.
Written by Leila Kamweru, a regional intern at the WYA Africa Regional Office.