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.
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
Paul McAdams at A Change is Coming: Travels and Human Rights reminded me that today is International Day of Peace. Go read his piece – I love his reflection on this day, that maybe we could look inside and recognize the peace we might find there, and then take a look around and show some kindness to people who might not be so lucky. Maybe like that couple I wrote about this morning.
Here's my little playlist of some of my favourite peace songs, in honour of the day. If you care to listen why not give some thought about what you would do, if you could, to perpetuate the spirit of the day.
People all around the world have been doing that today. Imagining peace. Can you feel it?