happy 100th international women’s day

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I’m celebrating all the women in my life today, particularly my daughters and my nieces.  In Canada, the theme for International Women's Day and Week 2011 is Girls' Rights Matter, recognizing the importance of equality and access to opportunity for girls and women, and inviting us to not only reflect on the situation of girls in Canada, but to look beyond our relative privilege at home and recognize the situation of girls around the globe.

I’m filled with gratitude that I could raise my daughters to be educated, independent and strong.  To be able to choose careers, to choose partners, to contribute to their communities, to vote and to make their own decisions about their own lives.  Compared to many, many young women internationally, they are exceedingly lucky.

When it adopted its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, the UN General Assembly was recognizing that the participation, equality and development of women are fundamental in securing peace, social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights (UN Women Watch).  We’ve come a long way.  And we’ve got a long way to go to implement meaningful change for all of us, not just us lucky few.

To all the women who have enriched my life with your love, strength, compassion, humour, intelligence, generosity, kinship, support, ideas, knowledge, creativity, silliness, thoughtfulness, awareness, kindness, stubbornness, talent, work and art – you are, collectively, a bright and shining mosaic, and beautiful thing number 22.

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The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.  ~Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Leader of Burma's Democracy Movement

 

I'm finding beauty – are you?

17 Comments

  1. Reply
    deb @ talk at the table March 8, 2011

    So well said, Jennifer.
    and today the beauty of my daughter who has joined her siblings in being taller than me struck me.

  2. Reply
    Jennifer March 8, 2011

    Thanks Deb. Nothing like being struck by the beauty of a daughter!

  3. Reply
    LindyLouMac March 9, 2011

    Great minds think alike, I also posted on International Womens Day, although Italians celebrate in a rather different way.

  4. Reply
    Jennifer March 9, 2011

    They certainly do! I’ll definitely be around to check it out!

  5. Reply
    FutureUrban March 10, 2011

    I’m really enjoying these beauty posts! Great to read.

  6. Reply
    Jennifer March 10, 2011

    Well you, my friend, are one of those beautiful women mentioned in this one. Glad you’re enjoying.

  7. Reply
    Steve capelin March 10, 2011

    Hi Jenn, lovely post. My effort was a little more tongue in cheek. I suppose that comes from sensing that a lot of progress has been made and the urgency to recognise women in our community is not as great as it was thirty years ago. Still there is a lot of local and international work which needs to be done. Our Prime Minister Julia Guillard addressed the US Congress yesterday and as a women this was a first for Australia and maybe rare for a female head of state. She sucked up a bit, flatterered a bit and seemed pretty relaxed. I’d be interested in other’s take on her presentation. Was it different from a male head of state’s address? Did it have more compassion? Was she able to be more personal as a woman? Is red hair an asset in international politics?
    Happy International Women’s Day.

  8. Reply
    Jennifer March 11, 2011

    haha, well, in some “news” organizations, I’m sure her red hair was commented upon. (It is a fact that male politicians can only wear certain colour ties, depending on where they live and what parties they represent – so maybe her red hair does make a difference!)
    I’m not sure what the numbers are in Australia, but our government was bragging on IWD that we have more women in government then ever before. But we’re still not equally represented. It wasn’t really that long ago when one female parliamentarian tabled the issue of spousal abuse not being considered a crime but a “private issue,” and was openly mocked (in front of tv cameras) on the floor. Shocking by today’s standards. My daughter, who was born in that year, would be disgusted.
    So yes, in our cultures, Steve, we’ve come a really long way in 30 years. I hope I’m around in the next 30 years to see us equally represented! Will the world be changed? Of course – it’s changed now.

  9. Reply
    Susan J. Tweit March 11, 2011

    Lovely and inspiring post on International Women’s Day. I don’t often observe official days, but reading your post, I can see why I pay attention to this one. It’s true that we’ve come a long way, but as a scientist who left the practice of science because of the overwhelming pressure to “be more like a man” in my work, I long for the day when what makes us feminine is cause for celebration! Oh, and thanks for “faving” my recent post on food as medicine and making yogurt cheese!

  10. Reply
    Jennifer March 11, 2011

    Thanks for visiting Susan. I have worked in the automotive industry, and am sorry to say, I know of what you speak. I long for that day too. Terms like “chick flick” and “girl car” really irk me, because the implication is that they’re inferior. Here’s to the celebrating!
    Really did fave that post – the lunch looked divine, and I can’t wait to try that cheese. I really love healthy, good food.
    Glad I came across your blog.

  11. Reply
    Susan J. Tweit March 11, 2011

    Yes, here’s to that celebrating! Why the gifts of more than half the world are denigrated simply because they come from women, I do not know. I appreciate being at the part of my life where I don’t have to worry about pressure anymore; I’m just me, like it or not…

  12. Reply
    Jennifer March 11, 2011

    Because they’re the “other.” People are afraid of the “other.”
    I’m at that part of my life too – and funny enough, been back in the dating world lately. I think it’s the best phase of my life to have ever done that – going in feeling the same way – I like myself better than I ever have.
    Cheers!

  13. Reply
    Susan J. Tweit March 12, 2011

    Funny, I don’t think of women as the “other.” Guess I’m biased! ;~) Liking ourselves is key to finding a life that works, with or without a relationship–good for you!

  14. Reply
    Jennifer March 12, 2011

    hehe, I guess I’m biased too. “Other” to roughly 49% of the population – but then, based on most of the men I know, a substantial part of that 49% is not afraid, or dismissive of women’s issues, or wanting us to be more like them. 🙂

  15. Reply
    Susan J. Tweit March 13, 2011

    I think you’re right, increasingly. And that’s a wonderful turn of heart!

  16. Reply
    Selma March 14, 2011

    You are definitely a beautiful and inspiring woman yourself and one I really look up to. You might not realise but you often remind me of what’s important in this crazy life. Thank you.

  17. Reply
    Jennifer March 14, 2011

    Funny, because you often remind me of the important things too. Thank YOU. xo

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