Why International Women’s Day Matters

 womenday1

 

All my bad ass bitches better push through for International Women’s Day!!

For those that don’t know, today is the day to commemorate the women’s rights movement across the world. Say it loud, say it proud: equal pay for women like…ummm…right now.

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One day we’ll collect those long-overdue coins (.80 to be exact) and we can thank fierce feminists like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and so many, to many hidden figures that guided us to that breakthrough.

Until then, we’ll continue to walk in the spirit of Sojourner Truth whose wise words of relevancy still ring true 166 years later.

Ain’t I a Woman

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me!
And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Happy International Women’s Day, 100 years and counting.

Happy International Women’s Day, Five Women Who Inspire This Day

michelle-obama

whitehouse.gov

In honor of International Women’s Day, I want to shine a light on five amazing women who realize the necessary and powerful force sisterhood is to our humanity. Some of these women are easily recognizable (Hey, FLOTUS) while others may not be splashed across a glossy mag their contributions to their communities, and society, as a whole, is what makes them so very (Tyra Banks voice) fiiieeerrrrccceee.

Michelle Obama

While the First Lady may be best known for her enviable wardrobe or most recently those love em’ or hate em’ bangs. She’s on my girl crush list because of her unwavering ability to help young people discover their best selves.  This month marks the third anniversary of her Let’s Move! fitness initiative that motivates kids to exercise and eat healthier meals. The initiative has already inspired laws that enforce healthy meals for low-income families in schools around the country to combat the ever-increasing rise in overweight or obese children. With the help of athletic goddesses’ Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas and Dominque Dawes, FLOTUS launched a new fitness program to be included in America’s schools that will make kids active throughout the day. Nike will donate $50 million over the next 5 years to fund the program.

Malala Yousufzai

The shot heard around the world wasn’t aimed at a typical rebel that could be easily extinguished by a Taliban force. It was a 14-year-old Pakistani girl whose only demand was education for girls like herself. Yousufzai’s bravery and sacrifice (she lost hearing in one ear) sparked outrage and protests in her native land. But, it did little to silence the passion she has for empowering girls. Last month since being shot she released her first statement to the press:  “God has given me this new life. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated.” Nongovernmental Organization Vital Voices established a nonprofit:  Malala Fund that will promote funding for education. Malala and her dad will sit on the nonprofit’s board and decide on the agency’s initiatives. Malala’s unconquerable resilience hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Nobel Peace Prize, which nominated her for the prestigious award  last month.

fashioncentral.pk

fashioncentral.pk

Musarrat Misbah

 It takes a special person to recognize a beautiful soul. Not a beautiful face. Pakistan native Misbah knows the difference. She is the founder of the Depilex Smile Again Foundation, which helps acid-attack survivors find their place in the world. Misbah, in her early 50s’,  started the foundation after being approached by a severely disfigured woman asking for help. The Smile Again Foundation helps women get reconstructive surgery and offers job training. The foundation reportedly helped more than 500 victims that would ordinarily be shunned by relatives and friends. According to Metro, acid attacks are more common in central and southern Asia, but occur around the globe. An estimated 9,000 women were acid-attacked between 1994 and 2001. Misbah’s foundation is home to the survivors and she tells Metro she hopes to create another safe haven. “I just hope God gives me the strength to help more girls. I want to build a shelter where I can live with them. Sorry if I sound like Mother Teresa.”

To Support Smile Again Foundation—> Depilex Smile Again

nydailynews

nydailynews

Jaha Dukureh

Jaha wants women to speak up against a cultural practice that is taboo to resistance. A practice that has negatively affected women for centuries. Female genital mutilation has been widely considered a ritual practiced in West Africa, the Middle East and South Asia–until now. There are reports of illegal surgeries taking place in the US and in some cases immigrant families sending their daughters abroad to relatives for “vacation cutting.” Gambian native Dukureh is a survivor of FGM—she was only a few days old when her labia and clitoris were cut off and her vagina was sewn shut to ensure her virginity, then became aware of the mutilation at 15 when her vagina had to be cut back open—and wants women to know this is a global issue. “People think that female genital mutilation is an African issue, but it is a U.S. issue,” Dukureh, now 25 tells NY Daily News. “You have it everywhere Africans migrate to. I felt like if someone knew what I was talking about, most of the things that happened to me, they wouldn’t have happened.” And in order to prevent them from happening to another woman she shared her story with The Sanctuary for Families, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting domestic violence victims, which published her account in a report about FGM in the US. A new federal law made it illegal for this ritual to be practiced and for girls to travel for the purpose of the procedure. Dukureh started a blog entitled ‘Rising Up Against FGM‘ where she interacts with survivors like herself and enlightens women about the dangers of FGM.

To Support Sanctuary for Families —> Sanctuary for Families

Women in Combat: This entry may be a little premature, considering the first female combat team has yet to be chosen. However, I wanted to be the first person to honor these brave, ground-breaking women that will make history by being the first women to go out in combat since President Obama’s administration lifted the ban. Hooah!!!

If you Bl;nked: President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law this week. Read my previous blog entry for info about the law.  https://ifyoublinked.com/2013/02/22/kelly-rowland-and-monica-promote-domestic-violence-prevention-month/