Women’s Day offers an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by women, and also the determination of women who have played an extraordinary role in history, on whose shoulders we stand today.
Today, women are recognised for their achievements, without any regard to culture, race, religion, language or economic division.
Here, in Malta, we can find extraordinary women who have in the past contributed much to the way things are done today.
Caterina Vitale; the first female pharmacist and chemist in Malta. Barely a teenager, she was married to Ettore Vitale, a Neopolitan Man, and upon his death she inherited his pharmacy and supplied crucial medicine to La Sacra Infermeria. She is buried at the Carmelite Church in Valletta.
Caterina Scappi; founded the first hospital in Malta, dedicated exclusively to women.
Agatha Barbara; a long-serving member of Parliament and the first woman to hold the office of President of Malta. She worked as an air raid warden during the war and supervised the food kitchens to feed the Maltese population during that time. Barbara founded the Women’s Political Movement in Malta.
On an international level, we can also mention
Aung San Suu Kyi; The legally elected President of Myanmar, who had been detained before the elections and remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 to 2010, becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners, even kept from leaving to see her husband who was dying. She did not want to abandon her struggling people and is still fighting the fight.
Margaret Thatcher; Inspired a country to be strong in its time of need.
Women fight for dignity, integrity, passion, freedom to express views without judgement, but unfortunately today there are still women who are afraid, mutilated, beaten, loaded down by religion and muzzled.
Women’s Day should encourage all women to look to the future and find ways to improve the lives of people around them. We, as women, are ordinary people living ordinary lives, but can make a difference even if it is only in our family or circle of friends. One of the best attributes that women have is an inner sense of kindness and compassion which they give freely and without any desire for it to be reciprocated.
By Dolores E. Nolan, Management Consultant at Abraham’s
International Women’s Day 2021