The WIMN wishes you a happy International Women’s Day!
In celebration, consider the women in your life who helped you grow to be who you are, and what it means to you to be a woman in the world today.
Let me tell you about my mom. This effervescent San Franciscan knew from the get-go that her calling in life was to raise my brother and me. She was and is the most generous, present, fiercely loving mother I could have asked for, and has unwaveringly supporting me in the pursuit of my own calling (I’ll never forget her handing me a little jewelry holder she’d bought me that said “Girls Just Wanna Be CEO”). She’s steered me toward my own choices always, and that is the best power we can remind any woman that she inherently has.
What International Women’s Day means to me is agency.
I write this from San Francisco, where I’m lucky that my particular expression of womanhood can be almost literally whatever I want. That isn’t the case in other areas around the United States and certainly is not the case worldwide.
International Women’s Day is reclaiming the fact that we can ‘choose our own adventure’. It’s the power to live our lives freely, without government control or threat of violence. In practice, there will be many nuances to expressing that power– while I’m slinging my leg over my motorcycle without a second thought, I’d be fined or worse in Iran, and I bet 21-year-old Iryna from Kyiv who I interviewed a few months ago still huddles in her apartment when the electricity is cut during bombings, quietly fundraising for her country’s defense.
To me, the calls to action for this International Women’s Day are to uplift the ones who are free to express this power and advocate for the ones who aren’t. Let’s also remember the many intersecting populations who share this pursuit of agency; LGBTQ+ folks, our vulnerable immigrants, the racial justice movement, and frankly, men. The same actions freeing the women will also work to free our men who die in the US en masse by gun violence and suicide, and worldwide for a myriad other causes.
The power to choose the paths of their lives is the power we must work to create the conditions for every day, for EVERYONE around the world.