Just recently, on a flight home from traveling, I was able to relax and enjoy a movie about the life of Helen Reddy called "I Am Woman." She passed away last September at 78 years old. She was from Melbourne, Australia, where my husband grew up and came to the United States with her little girl because of a promise of a record contract. When she arrived, she was told by the agency that they were only interested in male groups at the time.
So, as the biography goes, she does what every woman would do and juggles being a mom while trying to keep her dream alive. My husband was also inspired by the movie since he is from Melbourne, Australia, knew of Helen Reddy, and is married to a strong and motivated woman.
While watching this movie and remembering all of her hit songs, I started to think about how times have changed so much since the song "I Am Woman '' was released. From the mid-'60s to now, there has been much improvement in the equality of men and women. Still, back then, this song struck such a chord and became the anthem for women's rights and equality.
It's hard to believe there was a time when women were not allowed to do many things. They could not vote, wear pants, own property, serve in the military, keep their maiden name, serve on a jury or compete in the Olympics. So yes, we have come a long way. But, there are still things that need to be done, and below are just a few.
- Women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn, which means that a woman would have to work well into the following year to make the same amount of money.
- Women make up only 26.7% of the United States Congress, which is growing but still has a ways to go.
- Women account for just over 7% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies. They also have a shorter tenure in their positions than men do.
- Women are still taking on most of the household duties even if they have outside responsibilities. Most will take temporary leave or reduced hours of work due to having or raising children.
- Women athletes continue to fight for their differences in what they are paid versus the males in the same sports position.
There are even more things to be improved upon, but I know for sure that the song that was famous for bringing hope to women is still relevant today. The chorus goes like this; Yes, I am wise, but it's wisdom born of pain. Yes, I've paid the price but look how much I gained. If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong (strong), I am invincible (invincible), I am a woman.
My affirmation for you this week is:
"I will respect, appreciate and honor all women in my life for what they do, what they endure, and what they dream for every day."