I’ve only been around for 27 years, but in that time it has become clear to me that society does not appreciate the true worth or value of a woman. I have seen it time and time again – to the point where I recently felt the urge to write an open letter to women:

Dear woman,

Over the years, society has failed to acknowledge who you really are and what value you bring to the world. It has broken you down, trying to reduce you to a picture in a magazine, or a pull card to get people to watch more videos, or an advertisement. We’ve heard sex sells, but society I’m sure would like to say sorry for using you like that. You are more than that: you are priceless and worthy of so much more than just a position as a sexual symbol. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you bring so much joy and life to this world – more than any music video or picture could ever capture.

Society has labelled womanhood in many different ways – but rather than build you up it has broken you down. You are more than a thigh gap; you are more than a photoshopped image; you are more than a hip movement; you are more than a pose on a billboard. You are more than a one night stand; and more than your straight hair or makeup. What you have in you is more valuable than rubies or gold, and I want to apologise to you on behalf of society.

I want to apologise to you on behalf of others for the words they have spoken over you. Words that say you can’t be a manager, or a leadership role model; that you can’t lead a movement or a church. You are more than just a mother or homemaker.

You are highly appreciated. You nurture others, but you also carry great authority and power. So, on behalf of society, I want to apologise for confining you to the shadows. It’s your time to shine and to realise every promise made to you.

I hope you can accept this apology.