Real change occurs – one determined woman at a time.
This past weekend I had the privilege to attend my first ever International Women’s Day Luncheon. I left all expectations at the door and walked into a room filled with women of all age, race and background – mingling with those who live in poverty to those who are of great power and influence. We come together to celebrate the spirit of women – working together to bridge the gap in equality - social, economical, political and in health.
As everyone was settling in, I approached a table full of women I didn’t know and asked if I could join them. It didn’t take long for me to feel as at ease and get engrossed in finding out who they were and what brought them to this event. Most of the women at this table of eight were retired school teachers. They might have been retired from teaching but they certainly weren’t retired from life – volunteering and dedicating a lot of their time to social and economic issues that affect women and children.
Five local women were honored for their contribution to making a difference in their neighborhoods. They are leaders in their communities who work towards breaking down barriers and the stigmas that are often associated with impoverished communities.
Each woman shared her personal experiences – battling and overcoming addictions, abuse/violence and poverty. Their stories were heartwrenching as we felt their pain – there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. As each woman finished their speech and accepted their award, we leaped from our chairs – showering them with well-deserved standing ovations and praise. I felt so honored and proud to be part of this truly amazing celebration.
Why dedicate a day exclusively to the celebration of the world’s women?
Every year on March 8 is International Women’s Day. For the women of the world, this Day is an occasion to review how far we have come in our struggle for equality, peace and development.
In 1911, a woman named Clara Zetkin, a leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, tabled the idea of an international Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – A Women’s Day to press for their demands.
IWD (International Women’s Day) is now celebrated in many countries and in thousands of cities and towns. Some countries such as China and Russia celebrate IWD as a national holiday.
On this day we recognize that peace and social progress requires the active participation of women. This is also a time to acknowledge the contribution of those women who devote their lives to international peace and security.
In recogntion of this day, take time to honor the women in your life who inspire you to be strong and continue to forge ahead no matter what comes your way.
Happy International Women’s Day!