Saturday, March 2, 2013

Working for Equality, Not against Injustice

A day to remember, honor, and be inspired by at least none decades of women working for equality, for peace, and for justice. International Women's Day has been recognized in the US since 1909 and is commemorated by the United Nations. It's even a national holiday in many countries like China, Vietnam. the USSR and Bulgaria (but not the U.S.--hmmm.) 

Why do we need a day to honor women's struggles for safety and equality? Soroptimist International provides
·         Globally 30% of the world’s women are at risk for beatings, sexual assault or other violence, at least once in their lifetime. Given the world’s population that’s about one billion women.
·         Girls and women are often the targets of trafficking, genital mutilation, female infanticide, sexual abuse, or denial of health care and education.   
·         Of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked across international borders annually, 80 percent are female. 

Instead of looking at the problems, let’s look at opportunities. The Girl Effect is a powerful global movement to foundational issues such as health care and education for girls, because these are keys to creating social change that makes this world a better place not just  for girls and women, but for everyone. The problem of global violence against women seems insurmountable, but finding a way to help one twelve year old girl or the girls in a community… that’s something I can relate to. 

I remember story about when Mother Teresa was asked to march in a protest against the Vietnam War. Surprisingly, she declined. She told the organizers she would have gladly marched for peace, but she would not ever march against something. I’ve always liked that philosophy. When we see injustice we often become outraged, but that outrage can just cause more entrenchment. Better to work together to find solutions, even small ones that make a difference. 

"Never worry about numbers.

Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you." Mother Teresa



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