There are woman who have made their way for generations. Women who have fought the hard fight and standing up for what they believe in and standing up for all of us. We could make a very long list of great woman we should honor on this International Women’s Day (IWD). I have been influenced by many of them – writers, artists, politicians, and more.They have made a difference in me for sure.
When I stop and really look closely at my life and why I stand for woman, why I attend marches and write to support women’s health, etc. it comes down to the women who were close to me. The models in my life.
Those women who brought me the information to read and learn about the more well know folks. Those women who raised me, feed me and talked to me. None of them would have seen themselves as feminists or people who speak for woman’s rights – although they believed in those rights. The women of my life showed strength through their day to day actions.
There is my Mother who raised three kids alone, worked three jobs and sent us all to college. She made her way in the world because it was what she needed to do for her family. She made her way in the world of work by being the best she could be and standing strong when it was called for.
There are my two Aunts who were school teachers. They choose a life of serving children as teachers instead of a home and family. Their children were in their classrooms. They began teaching in an age when once you got married you were no longer allowed to teach so with this in mind they did not marry. They stood their ground. They made a choice.
There is a family friend Ruthie – who looked like she was under the thumb of her husband but if you stepped into the house you found a strong independent woman. She never learned to drive but biked or bused where ever she wanted to go. She was an artist, amazing cook (health aware long before it was a fashion), wise in so many ways. She taught me through mentorship, friendly conversations with tea and just by how she lived her life.
There is my sister who pushed open doors for herself showing me how to do it. She and I don’t always see the world the same way and yet she helped me walk into the world of protests, marches and being vocal about the rights of all people. She stood for people who were different than our middle class white family in a way that was new to me. She helped me, as a young person, look around and become aware of different cultures and ways of living. She helped open up the wider world to me.
There are so many people who we learned from, worked with and know that help guide us in our understanding of our rights and the rights of others. I am grateful today to have had these people and so many more in my life. They have made me who I am today.
I stand for Woman around the world because of the women in my life.
What events or who brings you to understanding the need to celebrate woman today?