STRONGER TOGETHER: Reflections on International Women's Day—Celebrating Uniqueness

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Last updated: 11/03/2024

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya reflects on the profound meaning of International Women's Day, while encouraging women to embrace and celebrate their imperfections as sources of strength and uniqueness.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

Even when we are broken, we have the chance to rebuild ourselves.

This thought was inspired by Hannah Gadbsy who famously said, “there is nothing stronger, than a woman who has rebuilt herself.”

As we celebrate International Women's Day, it is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on our own personal journey. The pitfalls, the moments of joy, those who have been a source of inspiration and those who have brought us to tears. The lessons, scars, deepening wrinkles, all serving as reminders of the less than perfect—but highly individualised—journey that each of us has taken during our one very precious life.

When I think about my own moments of learning and challenge, I find myself reflecting on the pieces of me that bear the weight of experience. These fragments—sometimes cracked, sometimes shattered—hold stories of vulnerability, resilience, and growth. Perhaps it’s a bruised ego, a dent in self-esteem, or the weariness that accompanies life’s battles. It’s during these times that I recall the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi.

Kintsugi, also known as kintsukuroi, translates to “golden repair.” It’s a practice that transforms broken ceramics or pottery into something extraordinary. Instead of hiding the cracks, artisans mend them with a lacquer infused with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The result? A piece that bears visible scars—a testament to its history—but now adorned with shimmering veins of precious metal.

The imperfection becomes a focal point, a celebration of resilience and transformation. When light dances across the repaired lines, it reveals a new kind of beauty—one that acknowledges the past while embracing the present.

As women, we carry our own kintsugi stories. Our wrinkles deepen with laughter and worry alike, our hearts bear the weight of love and loss, and our spirits mend after every setback. It’s time to celebrate these unique qualities—the cracks that make us whole, the scars that tell our tales. Just like the kintsugi pottery, we are no longer perfect, but we are infinitely more precious.

This International Women’s Day let’s shift our focus. Instead of dwelling on our broken or missing pieces, let’s celebrate our uniqueness. Bring to life your own version of kintsugi and celebrate the qualities within you and others that may on the outside seem imperfect but provide a beautiful opportunity to inspire inclusion within our workplaces and communities.

So, raise your metaphorical brush. Highlight your imperfections with the gold of self-acceptance and compassion. Let your cracks be a reminder that strength lies not in perfection, but in resilience and authenticity.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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