Pearls and women have an affinity that is hard to dispute. The symbolism of integrity, wisdom, resilience, purity, generosity, and loyalty in pearls are the very attributes that are arguably more prevalent in women.

Since time immemorial, women have been disparaged, their voices stifled, their heroic struggle to gain parity with their male counterparts ridiculed, often at great emotional and physical cost. As the world celebrates International Women's Day on March 8, we salute and applaud women through the ages; the millions who have bravely endured the ignominy of male dominance and suppression in every sphere of life, in every arena, from homes to playing fields; from education to the workplace. We sing the praises of those women who fought valiantly to pull down strongholds of society's perception of what the so called "weaker sex" could or could not do; from great warriors like Joan of Arc and Medieval Indian ruler, Razia Sultana, who led men in battle, to Madame Marie Curie, the eminent scientist.

From Harriet Tubman, who at great peril, fought the evils of slavery to the selfless women who turned social norms on their head in the fight for universal suffrage. Let us celebrate the likes of Emily Wilding Davison, the militant suffragette who gave her life for this noble cause in 1913. Kudos to pioneering women educators like Dr Maria Montessori and feisty politicians Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher; Aung Sun Suu Kyi and Indira Gandhi, all of whom have bequeathed a legacy of courage, excellence, and tenacity to today's young aspirational women. We admire the women serving alongside men in the armed forces; and those who have excelled in sports that were previously male-oriented, from cricket to rugby, to soccer. Women have sailed single-handedly around the world, facing the same perilous seas that men have.

All power to women in the workplace, from those laboring in the paddy fields of South East Asia to their sisters tirelessly baking flatbread over coals in the Arabian desert; to the wives and mothers who battled their way up the corporate ladder to head iconic companies like PepsiCo; to the nurses and teachers, astronauts and pilots; tram drivers and electrical engineers; film directors and heads of banking institutions; to the women entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More power to mothers encouraging their daughters to be anything they want to in an inherently chauvinistic environment. The pearl jewelry at Pacific Pearls is designed for all women. Each one of you is worth celebrating!

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