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Beyond “Choose To Challenge”. By Bridgitta Flao.

As we continue to celebrate and honor women in the month of March under the “Choose To Challenge” theme, one thing we cannot ignore is the need for mindset change and the need to embrace women in whatever form they see fit to express themselves. This needs to be a topic of discussion in order for us to achieve the goal of ‘choosing to challenge’. There are certain pre-conceptions that society has set that women can apparently not do. These include that women cannot dress in a particular way; we do not have a voice of our own and that we cannot make important decisions pertaining to our lives, just to name a few. There are certain stereotypes in the society that have branded women incapable of so many things. A reverse type of thinking branding women with all the negatives words the dictionary can hold that must be changed and challenged not only in this month but in the months to follow.

Echoed by his song ‘Make-up’, Mastol emphasizeshow women continue to be belittled and diminished. He further points out how women endure these misconceptions while simultaneously encountering different forms of abuse and violence. These range all the way from rape to the fight for equal pay. This is applicable considering the statistics and surge of such cases over the past-year although women continuously stand up for themselves. In Malawi, women have often been victims of hateful and discriminatory slurs or associated with imperfections because of how they dress particularly regarding the use of make-up. Those that wear make-up are seen less of a woman and perceived as trying to hide their imperfections. Can it just not be a choice or an art for us?

Make-up is a tool that is used to enhance existing natural beauty and not diminish nor hide flaws. Choose to challengestereotypes by embracing women with or without make-up.

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