Tag Archives: reflections

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead

International Women's Day: Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director: International Women’s Day 2014

International Women’s Day Event on Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment

Timeline of International Women’s Day (IWD)
28 February 1909 – First observed in the USA as National Women’s Day in Chicago
August 1910 – Attendees at the International Women’s Conference in Denmark propose the idea
18 March, 1911 – IWD was celebrated by over a million people in Europe; right to vote, hold public office and end gender discrimination at work were key issues.
February 1913 – Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day. In 1917, it became official in the region.
March 1914 – International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time on Sunday, March 8, and this date has continued as the preferred/official day since.
October 1, 1949 – In the People’s Republic of China, the state council decided that March 8 would be made an official half day off holiday for women in China
1977 – International Women’s Day (marked by the UN since 1975), became a popular event when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the official UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.
March 8 2010 – International Women’s Day – the ICRC (Red Cross) drew attention to the hardship displaced women endure (refugees and others at war) and has continued its call to end armed conflict.
March 8 2011 – International Women’s Day – Celebrations took place in more than 100 countries in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day
March 8 1996 -2014 –  Every year, the UN adopts a special theme  to focus attention on for International Women’s Day 2014 is Inspire Change. *See the rest below
Sources: UN Women Watch, International Women’s Day.com, Wikipedia

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), also known as International Working Women’s Day and the theme for this year is – Inspiring Change.  The premise for the 2014 IWD theme is that we still need to not only champion the social, political and economic achievements of women, but also to continue to fight for women’s rights and inspire change globally. When I read about this year’s theme, what struck me was how far we’ve come and how much work remains in the struggle for Women’s equality in an unequal world. Even as more of us leave the home to go to work, our pay is still 77 cents for every dollar paid to our male colleagues, and, the proverbial glass ceiling remains a barrier for women in the workplace. For most women with children, the work day continues when they get home. In countries around the world, women are discouraged from getting an education, and early marriage and domestic abuse continues to rise.

International Women's Day: Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

Google: International Women’s Day Doodle 2014
International Women’s Day Doodle 2014

Timeline of women’s rights (other than voting)
1718 – Gender segregation banned in Russia, Taxpaying women allowed to vote in Sweden, Married women allowed to manage/own property in Pennsylvania
1829 – Sati is banned in India
1864 – Elementary schools for girls are opened in Haiti
1873 – Mothers in the UK are granted guardianship for children at divorce
1887 – Universities open to women in Mexico
1900 – A school for female teachers is opened in Egypt
1902 – Foot binding abolished in China.
1986 – Women in Djibouti can stand for election
2007 – Women can serve in combat roles in the New Zealand Defense Force

When I speak to groups of women, I hear the same answer; We want change. We want work and pay equity. We want an end to domestic/spousal abuse and an end to all forms of violence against women. We want representation in higher office and so called non-traditional fields. However, change is not the responsibility of a few. Change cannot happen in a vacuum.  Each of us has a role to play and we can’t do it alone. We can work with organizations that help women and in our communities. What are you doing to empower other women and create change?

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Reflections: Nature Does Not Hurry…

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

Starting Over:  Nature Does Not Hurry...

Reflections: Nature Does Not Hurry… – “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

We spend time worrying…
Rushing here and there in pain
Wondering … what if?

Wondering … what if
The sky would fall if we stop
The sun and moon too…

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” Rachel Carson

Starting Over:  Nature Does Not Hurry...

Reflections: Nature Does Not Hurry – “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” John Muir

Sky, sun, moon won’t fall
‘Cos nature does not hurry
Pause and breathe… slowly

We prance round like deer
Heading straight to those headlights
Thinking… what happened?

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Haiku: A House Is Not A Home

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” Benjamin Franklin

Haiku: A House Is Not A HomeHaiku: A House Is Not A Home ... when love seeps away

Haiku: A House Is Not A Home … when love seeps away

A house is not home…
Measured blows and silent screams
Repeated daily

A house is not home
Love lost, betrayals exposed
At the door … divorce

A house is not home
Children leave, no lingering
Memories of hurt

What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child?  I grew in a family that traveled a lot, mainly, because of my father’s work and also because of our time in a war zone.  Each home we lived in had its own special energy and smell. Some had the energy of happy homes, while a few were sad;  a couple of them were even haunted houses.  Aside from the distinctions I observed, one thing that remained constant was that each home provided a safety net from the travails of the outside world.

My haiku is not a description of my experience  but more a remembrance for those who have not had a chance to enjoy the love and safety of a home.  Our homes are meant to be places of  love and safety but sometimes, they become places of pain and suffering.  If you grew up in a joyful home, be grateful for the blessing and make sure that your home is a blessing to others. If you didn’t grow up in a happy home, seize the opportunity to turn the tables on the past and create place of joy for your self. What are your memories of your home?

More below. Cherish the peace and joy in yours. Create/Go to a safe place if you don’t. B

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