Today, the world over celebrates International Women’s Day. Women and men are taking up the “Be Bold For Change” mantle, rallying for a more gender inclusive world. Great stuff!
During the week there was a question posed on a Women’s Discussion Group that I am a member of, whether there was any point to an International Women’s Day any more? Is it overkill in this day and age? Well, let me tall ya, did that question ever get a barrage of impassioned responses!!
If you are living in the western world, you are fortunate to have it better than most then in other parts of the world. Women in the west just don’t face the same degree of challenges as many women do in developing countries. Right?
Well. Unless you live in the USA where women’s rights, fought for by our parents generation decades ago, are again under threat. The fight is back on incredibly, under this new administration.
Or if you are one of the forgotten young Aboriginal women of Canada who have disappeared along Highway 16, a sparsely populated section of highway in northern British Colombia now referred to as the Highway of Tears.
Or if you happen to be the mother of one of the ~800 baby remains found last Friday, on the grounds of a Home for Unmarried Mothers run by Bons Secours Nuns in Tuam, Co Galway, Ireland up to the late 1990s.
Just a few of the high profile stories I am aware of, there are so many more stories about women being maligned. Such a long way to go yet.
Take this story in Nepal. There’s this absurd fight to have children recognized as Nepali if they were born in Nepal. What, you ask? How can that be??
Well, if the children’s Nepali mother is raising them without their Nepali father’s support, or their father is a foreigner …. currently the children are not afforded Nepali citizenship. That makes them stateless. It’s daft, isn’t it?
A great article appeared in this week’s Nepali Times about this exact subject. It’s timely given it’s International Women’s Day.
The article is written by a mother who shares the story of her stateless daughters, obstructed from living the lives they dream of. All because Nepali citizenship cannot be passed down to them through their Nepali mother. I shake my head – is the Nepali Government living in the dark ages??
Maybe. It’s come to this as a result of petty squabbling between political groups, who are muddying the water for their own benefit, and who have a blatant disregard and disrespect for women. Shameful.
Some might still think International Women’s Day is overkill. Not in my book, it ain’t. There’s still a long way to go.
Today in recognition of International Women’s Day, I’ll be wearing red and celebrating with my colleagues (male and female!) here in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
I’ll be thankful for all the magnificent women who I am fortunate to have in my life.
I’ll be thankful that as a women, I have been able to do all I wanted to do in life for the most part.
I’ll be thankful I can share some of my life’s learnings and street smarts with young women around the world, who want to be able to say this very thing when they are my age.
And I’ll lend my solidarity to all those women worldwide who need the strength of other women in the fight for their rights, and the rights of their daughters.