*This article was submitted by Orit Yeret, University student.
What is a woman? A human creature? A daughter, a wife, a mother? Defined by men or standing on her own what does she want? Sometimes I think I will never find the answer to this question.
As a young woman taking her first steps into womanhood, I often find myself struggling in a world made up of conflicting messages about what a woman is, or what she should be. It is obvious to blame the media for this problem, but these notions are deeper than that. It is people around the world that continue to reinforce the misguided views about women, especially when it comes to their place in society.
Even in the 21st century, women are still excluded from discussions about war or national security, and mostly presented with issues regarding health and family life. Why is it so difficult to detach women and family? Why is the woman so often being judged by her remarkable ability to juggle between her family, her career and her personal life?
My guess is that it all dates back to ancient times, when a woman was treated as property. The father would pass along his daughter, to the largest bidder, and the result was, of course, marriage and children and a lifetime of slave-like behavior, when the woman was expected to tend after her husband’s every need.
Luckily, we have out-grown that era. Nowadays women have rights and they are treated equally, most of the time. Unfortunately, the notions about a woman’s place in society, as well as her place within her family, are still conflicted.
To take the journey of the average woman is to go from being someone’s daughter, on to being someone’s wife and someone’s mother, and grandmother and so on. Even her family name says nothing about her; it is first her father’s and then her husband’s. As she enters the new family, she changes her being as well, from a receiver, to a giver – a giver of life.
To me, a woman is everything. She is sensitive and assertive, she is beautiful and unique. She is God’s creation, just like the man is, and she should never be sat apart or excluded from anything that she wants to do. A woman is life, and what does she want? To do whatever she wants – it is as simple as that! It is true to say that the idea about what is a woman, is changing all the time, but it is also important to state that those ideas are changing because women all over the world are making it happen!