Today is International Women's Day. It's a time to celebrate what it is to be a woman, but to also spread awareness of what still needs to be done for women today. We remember prominent figures of the past and the present who have made it their life's work to fight for equality. I remember all of the friends and colleagues that I have met in the course of my life that have shown me how important it is not just to celebrate myself, but to truly and sincerely celebrate others.
I realize that I have and do live a privileged life as a young woman today. I lived a comfortable life, with a safe and happy childhood. I had both of my parents in my life and experienced the love and wisdom of both my grandmothers. I had aunts who not only took care of my body, but my mind and soul as well. I had older sisters and cousins who showed me the way to be a better example of the younger ones who came after me. I have lived a good life as a woman, and I no longer want to take that for granted.
I look at all of the women that I have in my life and I wonder how I was so blessed and fortunate I am to be surrounded by women that not only cared for my health and well-being but also challenged by both mind and my soul. From mothers, aunts, sisters, friends, acquaintances and even people I've only met once--women are amazing beings that should be celebrated more than just one day. Even though I experienced numerous heartbreaks, I never felt abuse from a partner or a potential partner. I was able to find work and be able to work with amazing and influential female mentors the past 2 years, all of which show me that I can just as capable as the guy next door.
I recognize my privilege today of all days because there are millions of other women that did not have a life like mine. Millions of young women who became wives and mothers all too soon. Young mothers with daughters that are fighting for their life, fleeing countries that have made them refugees. There are countless women that were subjected to abuse physically, sexually and emotionally both overseas and here at home. I can't say that I know how these women feel or take ownership of their experiences. What I can do is thank them for their bravery, commend their courage to keep going and celebrate their life as women today.
There is still so much to do and accomplish for women today. Modern Day issues such as reproductive rights, domestic abuse, equality in the workplace through closing in the wage gap and paid family leave. Other long lasting issues such as our place in society and how objectified women are in the media...there are just some of the issues that women face today. I know that I cannot offer much, but today I will celebrate for the ones that couldn't and commemorate the figures that went before me to give me the privilege that I have today.