A GATHERING to celebrate International Women’s Day in Honiara has been told that “a woman is like a tea bag … you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”
The metaphor was uttered by Emmy Sogavare – spouse of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Mrs. Sogavare was speaking at the International Women’s Day gathering at Chung Wah School in Chinatown yesterday.
The event was jointly hosted by Chung Wah School and the Chinese Embassy in Honiara.
Chinese Ambassador, Li Ming, also spoke at the gathering.
Mrs Sogavare was one of three women speakers on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Embrace Equity, Embrace Future.
The two other speakers were the Minister for Education Minister, Lanella Tanagada and the Minister for Women and Youth, Freda Rotutafi Rangirei.
In a speech which spoke highly of women’s achievements and capability, Mrs Sogavare said matter of factly, without women there is no life. She also spoke of a woman’s ability to absorb the shocks of life.
“A Woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water,” she told the audience.
“It is indeed sad that this capability is often overlooked and many women are victims of domestic abuse.”
She said men would appreciate the value of women if they get to feel the pain of birth.
Women are the pillar of society. Without women, there would be no life, she said.
“I am only here to remind us especially the women that amidst the abuse and these ongoing issues, that we can do it. We have the capacity to be successful in everything.
“Besides focusing on promoting women’s rights, raising issues affecting women and to celebrating women’s achievement, women’s day is a time for us to appreciate the value of women in our society, community and country.
“On that note, I would like to shout out to all the women and girls present here today and all the women throughout the country for playing a very important role in our various communities and societies, women in all levels of occupation, status or background. Thank you very much for your contribution.
“Women are often overlooked and regarded as unimportant in the past and in certain societies around the globe today.
“But things have changed and it is indeed a thrill to see women and girls stepping into the spotlight and taking the lead.
“Women here today, you are not exception. Representing a country in any event or occupation is a huge privilege. On that note, thank you very much for your contribution to the country and most importantly for representing our country in whatever position. You as women and girls are showing everyone that we are important and capable,” Mrs. Sogavare said.
“My hearts goes today to women who are single mothers, struggling to feed their children, women who are battling cancer and other forms of illness, women who are victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.
“We cannot put ourselves in their shoes and feel the struggle and the pain that they are going through today, but God surely sees their pain and hears their cries.
“To conclude I would like to remind the ladies that we are strong and have the capacity to handle the hardness of life.”
By Alfred Sasako