Women have not only sacrificed a lot but also worked hard to achieve equality in many aspects of their lives since a few decades ago.
My sister had to drop out of school in 1969 to allow me to continue my studies even though her grades were better than mine.
Unfortunately, a year later, at 13, I too had become a dropout, as I had fallen far behind in my studies.
My sister was one of the many girls who had to sacrifice her studies for the sake of her brother in the 1960s.
It was even more unfortunate for some girls born to poor families; they were deprived of basic education those days.
Such discriminatory treatment against daughters in the 1960s did not happen only in the Chinese community but other communities as well.
When my daughter was born in 1990, our priority then was to ensure that she could grow up as a strong and academically successful person, so that she could lead a fruitful and non-discriminatory life.
As an obedient learner, she completed her A Levels at 14 and she continued to do well academically.
At 18, she achieved the fourth highest mark in her professional exam, beating 6,410 candidates worldwide.
Since joining the workforce more than five years ago, she has done well in her career and was awarded an opportunity to work in the United States last year.
Her academic success has helped her build a stable career, thus, empowering her to seek equality not only in the workplace but also in many aspects of her life.
My daughter’s academic and career achievements have inspired her brother to follow in her footsteps.
My son was once a top academic achiever and he too is working hard to build a promising career. If given an opportunity, he may want to expand his career in the US.
I urge parents not to overlook their daughters’ academic ability. Once you groom your daughters into high achievers, they too would inspire their younger siblings to perform well academically.
International Women’s Day is a call for gender parity.
PATRICK TEH, Ipoh, Perak