A hundred years ago, a group of women got together and decided we needed a day to celebrate women globally, regardless of our marital status, our ability or inability to have children, regardless of who we are in age, color, or where we come from. In countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, every man and boy gives a flower to each woman and girl on International Women’s Day.
We all have envisioned a day where women will speak out and speak up, to break their silence and demand peace, justice, and more equality in this world. A hundred years have gone by and women have accomplished a lot in legal protection, political and economic representation, education, and so many other areas. But the road to full equality for women is still long, and our vision of justice and sustainable, full peace in our lives has yet to come.
On behalf of our sisters who are meeting on March 8 in Rwanda and the DR Congo, our sisters who are meeting in Bosnia and Kosovo, our sisters who are meeting in London and Sydney, and our sisters in over 50 cities, I am asking all of you to join me, Women for Women International, and women around the world on a bridge on that day. I ask that we, women from all over, consciously take the time out of the working day and our personal life to celebrate International Women’s Day.
It is a time where we will join the drumming beats of drummers, our own drums, and our own heartbeats. A time where we can march, tie our fabrics together, celebrate who we are and what we have given to our families and societies, and more than that, demand an immediate peace and an end to all the wars that are going on in our lifetime and are destroying many lives.
Women need to stand and speak up because:
* 80% of the women in Bosnia and Herzegovina are unemployed when they enroll in our program
* 75% of war casualties are women and children
* Women produce 50% of the world’s food and only own 1% of the property
* 82% of the women in our Afghanistan program are illiterate
* 70% of the women in our DR Congo program have had their village attacked
These statistics show women are disproportionally marginalized in the world. It is time to change that. It is time to speak out. It is time to break our silence. It is time to demand peace and justice. It is time to join on the bridge.
Please join us. I know I will be at the Brooklyn Bridge at 12:00 pm on March 8th. Bring your drums. Bring your fabric. Bring your dreams.
Let us make that day a day the time to celebrate our womanhood, our voices, our contribution to society.
For more information on all of the bridge meetings around the world, please visit www.womenforwomen.org/bridge.
Founder and CEOWomen for Women International