This International Women’s Day, we reflect on what womanhood means to us

Women at Queen’s articulate being a woman in their own terms

Image by: Jennifer Chew
Women at Queen’s speak to their experiences.

This year’s International Women’s Day may have come and gone, but that shouldn’t stop us from taking the time to celebrate the voices of women on our campus—womanhood is important every day.

With all the powerful conversation around International Women’s Day fresh in our minds, we took this opportunity to ask the incredible women at Queen’s what being a woman means to them, personally. It’s impossible to define what womanhood means to all women, but three students put their own experiences into words. Here’s what they had to say.


Being raised by a strong and beautiful mother, I’ve always been aware of the meaning of ‘woman.’

It means we hold our heads high in the face of adversity, we open our hearts to all who deserve it, we work hard for the things we want and the people we love, and we stay true to ourselves. My mother is everything that encompasses my perspective of womanhood, and I aspire every day to be as brilliant and kind as her.

During moments where I feel like the period cramps, misogyny, and tidal waves of emotions are overwhelming and unbearable, I’m reminded of the most iconic woman who has ever graced my life. I feel proud to be a woman raised by my mother in a world full of inspirational female role models, women who demonstrate all of the strengths and perseverance that comes with womanhood.

I want to wish a very happy International Women’s Day to all women—you’re all absolutely amazing!

—Emily Clare, Staff Writer

International Women’s Day highlights the achievements of the Women’s Rights movement and the work that remains to achieve justice for those who are still oppressed. 

There’s a lot for me to think about when March 8 rolls around.

I am inspired by my family’s resilience, from both of my pregnant grandmothers surviving the Bangladesh Liberation War to my mom leaving behind everything familiar to emigrate to Canada by herself.

I reflect on my positionality as a self-identified woman and Bengali descendant living in Canada and the discrimination and privilege this comes with.

I resist the colonial world we live in that enforces a gender binary, socializing us to act and think a certain way, male or female, and to marginalize those who choose differently.

I wonder what society would look like if the appearance of our genitals didn’t matter, rather we valued people for who they chose to be regardless of sex or gender.

In the future, I want International Women’s Day to only be a reminder of the efforts of those who fought for a better world for all women. I hope we live in that better world where justice exists for all female, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ people.

—Tanisha Hasan, Contributor

Being a woman means being yourself.

The world is riddled with double standards and unrealistic expectations, but you decide what is okay, how much you are worth, and who you want to be. There’s a pressure that women owe something to the world and need to constantly be working to repay this debt to earn value, legitimacy, and respect.

This sense of debt can make us feel we’re not entitled to the word “no,” but removing the word from women’s vocabulary also discredits our “yes.”

Being a woman means having the agency to say no and saying yes whole-heartedly; it means always being kind but not always being nice; it means being decisive and having an opinion even when people might disagree with you.

We’re taught that if we want to be liked we need to fit in, but I know that if we want to be loved, we need to learn how to be ourselves.

—Julia Stratton, Staff Writer


International Women's Day, Queen's

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Queen's Journal

© All rights reserved.

Back to Top
Skip to content