Today is International Women’s Day. Since its inception in the socialist movement in the early 1900s, this observation has blossomed into a day to recognize and celebrate women across the globe.
I’ve always loved the expression “Women hold up half the sky.” Isn’t that image beautiful and evocative? Expansive and powerful? And for me it feels so individual AND so collective. That’s how this day of celebration feels for me – collective and individual.
So I celebrate all the beautiful women in my life, all those who bless me with their presence and their shine and their fabulousity; their tenderness and their fierceness; their genius, their strength, their very beingness.
But my mind also turns to all those women I don’t know – all those other women out there standing with us helping hold up the sky. Some known more widely in the collective, but the majority not at all. I celebrate all those women as well.
It so happens that we’re about 6 weeks into the 64-day annual observation of the Season of Peace and Non-Violence. I was thinking about that today as I was thinking about all the issues that affect so very many women on our planet. There are so many issues that need addressing. What if all women were respected, all were cherished; what if equality of resources didn’t depend on our gender or color or age? How different would the world be? What if women weren’t oppressed; weren’t victims of violence; didn’t succumb to maternal mortality at oh-so-shocking levels in this modern age; what if all women had sovereign right over their own bodies, their choices, their lives? How different would the world be indeed?
Over the course of years since 1905 sixteen women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the Peace category . That’s an infinitely small amount of women recognized for the work they do, and yet each one of those sixteen women deserve to be honored. You might want to check them out and see what was recognized for here. It’s certainly something I’ve been thinking about during this Season of Peace and Nonviolence.
I’ve also been thinking about the Half the Sky Movement, an unfolding from the published work of journalists Nicolas Kristol and Sheryl WuDunn who in 2009 authored the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. You can read more about the organization and their work here.
So today, and hopefully every day, as we celebrate and support each other, let’s think about the ways we can go about our individual worlds making a difference for the collective at large. What changes can we make in our own lives to make sure we’re acting from a place of sovereignty and power, kindness and generosity? And what contributions are we inspired to add to the collective by our existence here? How are you holding up your part of the sky?