As a woman, daughter, wife and mother, I am incredibly passionate about the lives, realities, hopes and dreams of girls and women. March is Women’s History Month. Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day. It’s time to celebrate our magnificent feminine strength, power and beauty! International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's.
International Women's Day is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries International Women's Day has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts. Women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. Great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and senators. Women can work and have a family. Women have real choices. So the tone and nature of International Women's Day has moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
Women’s rights are the unfinished business of the 21st century. We need strong women and men, girls and boys to ensure this century recognizes all are rights equally and gives everyone an equal chance to discover and pursue their dreams. In November, 19 new women were voted into the House of Representatives, 6 Senate incumbents were re-elected, 3 new Senators (all the first woman to represent their state in the Senate), and the only pro-choice Democratic woman governor in the country. Girl power has hit the political arena. There is a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton running for President in 2016.
Take a moment to thank a special woman today!