You would have to be hiding in a cave to miss that last Friday was International Women's Day. I always cringe when I think about causes having their own 'day' because it means indeed the issue is a 'cause' and not just how we look at life all the time. We need a day to focus on women?
Indeed we do.
In fact in chatting with some girl friends this weekend, I was reminded why International Women’s Day is so critical to advancing women’s issues worldwide. One friend of mine works to abolish children sex trafficking, and has shared some pretty disturbing stories with me over the years. Speaking with her about the challenges women and girls face all over the world, including in the United States, reminds me that:
PHOTO: Woman in market, J. Sonenshine
(1) I am incredibly lucky to have the resources I have to draw attention to the challenges of those who don’t have the resources or the voice themselves, and (2) we are very far from having the kind of equality we need to eradicate issues like child sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking is not just a women’s issue, by the way, but solutions are often funded by women’s empowerment and other gender programming. With the way countries around the world are de-funding these empowerment programs, we absolutely need a day like International Women’s Day to (1) raise funds (2) raise awareness and (3) remind us that equality is far from won.
One of the organizations most closely engaged on women’s empowerment issues is Girls Inc, a U.S. nonprofit promoting the development of strong girls (and thus women) through service programs and advocacy work. Girls Inc. works with schools, mentorship programs, community development organizations and other nonprofits that promote life skills, gender equality, human development and access for all, to empower girls into strong, game-changing women. This is just the kind of organization I love to learn about, which I did through their commercial that was running this week.
Did you see it? It brought tears to my eyes and hope to my soul.
Thanks to the efforts of Girls, Inc. and its partners helping us all get to a place where International Women’s Day isn’t necessary anymore, I am pleased to highlight them as our Partnership of the Week.