Ah.... Women's Day. Three men actually congratulated me today on the achievements of women in Oman. Another two reminded me gently that the role of women lies in the home. I'm having a difficult week filled with sleepless nights, so I wasn't in the mood for arguing. I should have, but I couldn't.
To honour Omani Women's Day, I'd like to remind all of you that despite my rants about women's rights and discrimination, the situation in Oman for women has improved SO MUCH in recent years.
Another reminder... my fight for women these past three and a half years through this blog hasn't been against the government (there are very few laws discriminating against women in Oman). My fight is against how society perceives women. The culture here doesn't support female empowerment, especially in the south (Dhofar) where I live. My goal is to empower women (in my real life) to start believing they CAN be who they want to be.
If you're an Omani woman (or any woman!) and you're reading this, make this your Mantra:
1. I CAN be who I want to be.
2. I can drive if I want to.
3. I can work if I want to.
4. I can choose the career that I WANT (be it an astronaut or a baker)
5. I can own a business.
6. I can travel without a chaperone because I HAVE THE RIGHT to see the world (right, D385?)
7. I can love who I want and marry who I want.
8. I can live a meaningful life.
9. I can step out of my front door and walk around my neighborhood if I want to.
10. I can sing and laugh and run and enjoy life.
11. I have the right to move and be healthy and practice sports.
12. I have an awesome leader (His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said) who BELIEVES in me and all the other women in this country.
13. I can be a Minister, a Lawyer, a teacher, a housewife, a chef ... I can be who I want to be.
14. I can own my own home and control my own funds because I earned them.
15. No one can stop me from achieving my dreams.
16. No one can stop me from achieving my goals.
17. I am beautiful, I am smart, I am talented, and I BELIEVE in myself.
Yes, you do. You are beautiful. Every single one of you.
Happy Women's day from Gucci, who is curled up in bed with her pink grill shades and a mug of Salalah tea raised in your honour.