Shakira made her official entrance to Miami’s entertainment society this weekend at the Billboard Women in Music event. At the ceremony, she received the first “Latin Woman of the Year” Award at the maiden Billboard Mujeres En La Música Latina event.

After receiving the award from Maluma, the Colombian singer-songwriter spoke about the strength and resilience of women in today’s world.

Reflecting on a “year of seismic changes,” Shakira praised women for their bravery, independence, and authenticity.

“I have felt more than ever, and in my own flesh, what it is to be a woman. Truly,” she said. “It has been a year in which I have realized that women are much stronger than we think. We are braver than we think we are. I think we are also more independent than we were taught to be.”

Shakira’s speech was a tribute to women’s strength

Of course, those seismic changes were a reference to her very public separation from her ex, Gerard Piqué, and her decision to move to America. 

However, her message went further than just a personal struggle.

“What woman hasn’t ever forgotten about herself?” Shakira wondered. “It has happened to me at times.”

“In every woman’s life, there comes a time when we no longer depend on someone to love or accept us as we are,” she continued. “I think there is a moment in every woman’s life when the search for oneself replaces the search for the other. A moment when the desire to be perfect is replaced by the desire to be authentic.”

“There comes a moment when it doesn’t matter so much if someone is faithful or not faithful to you. What really matters is whether you remain true to yourself.”

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“The most important lessons I’ve learned this year, I’ve learned from other women,” the singer said. “For them, for you, I wrote what I wrote, [and] I sang what I sang.”

“Because only a woman can come to love until she tears herself apart. Only a woman can speak with the most brutal honesty and can sing with rage and dance ecstatically and be moved to tears. Only a woman can do that.”

The singer recognized the importance of music in the healing process

In her heartfelt speech, Shakira also emphasized the importance of self-love and authenticity and how music can help us get back in touch with ourselves. 

“When I felt most lost, it was music that set me on the path back to myself,” she said. “However, the most important lessons I have learned this year I have learned from other women.”

In particular, Shakira paid tribute to her mother, who inspires her with her unwavering love and strength in the face of difficulties. “For my mom, you’ve been my woman of the year,” she said, dedicating her recognition to her mother and children.

She also highlighted the power of community and the support that women offer one another

“When my legs are wobbling, they sustain me,” she said about her girlfriends, who were in the audience with her. 

Shakira noted that this support is especially important for single mothers who defend and protect their families. She welcomed these mothers into the community of women who have faced their insecurities and come out stronger on the other side.

Shakira’s speech was a profoundly inspiring reminder that despite the challenges and obstacles that women face on a daily basis, there is a collective power that comes from recognizing and supporting one another. 

As the world changes and women’s voices become louder, women will continue to lead the way forward. She presented a call to action for women everywhere to use their voices to push for change and bring about a world where women are empowered and equal to men.