08/03/2016 12:56 GMT | Updated 09/03/2017 05:12 GMT

Women: Crushed When Caged, Beautiful When Free

Today, marks the 103rd year we've celebrated International Woman's Day. Though much has changed since then, we're still millions of miles away from reaching where we need to be.

Ever since forever, I have heard the saying, "Behind every successful man, is a woman.", be used by just about everyone I could possibly think of, in an attempt to describe the type of woman, a girl should be.

And for so long, that had been something I believed, and aspired to be. Because "Oh, wow. How great is it to be the reason behind a man's success?!" Never truly realizing that because of that mentality, that very success was being kept out of reach from me.

Because somehow, regardless of how far I go, and how greatly I succeed, "behind every successful man, is a woman." Regardless of where I ended up, my place was always behind a man. Never being recognized for being a woman, being me.

This, had been the society that I grew up in.

A society, I'm sure that the most of you did too.

In my younger years, I was often told off for taking the lead, because I was deemed too bossy. A word never used to describe boys, because leadership was a quality of a man.

I was told again and again, to dress a certain manner, to act a certain way, all because I was a girl, a lady.

Because it is my fault, that the boys and men choose to stare inappropriately at me.

Because the way I looked, caused them to.

Because half the time, there was no difference between I and the statue.

Because somehow the way I dressed, made them think I was up for public view.

Is it not time for us to place the blame, where it deserves to be?

It's the 21st Century - but again and again,

The words of a woman are taken as a joke, a cry for attention, never taken seriously - because the weight of her words, are no where near equal to the words of a man - one, who abused her.

Why do you think that is?

If there is one thing that you could do on this Woman's Day, I ask of you to open your eyes and see the injustices that you have normalized in your everyday.

A woman's place is not in the kitchen, unless she wishes for it to be.

A woman's body and her decision, is not up for discussion. It's a choice that she makes, based on her own judgement.

She could choose to be a doctor, or she could choose to be a mother, both - or neither - and that would be a choice, that's hers - and hers, alone.

She has her own voice, so let her speak.

Don't be the reason why her dream remains a dream.

Become the push, so she'll be who she wants to be.

A woman is like a butterfly. Crushed when caged, but so beautiful when free.

Man or woman, young or old - Gender Equality begins with you and me. It need not be a fantasy, because together - we can make it a reality.

Happy International Women's Day!

Remember, if it wasn't for the women in our lives, there'd be no you and me!