As we celebrate the centennial of International Women’s Day we are given the incredible opportunity to stop and reflect on the numerous accomplishments and progress that has been made for girls and women in the past 100 years…and to acknowledge the challenges that still lay ahead.
While we are able to vote (in North America), leave an abusive relationship, get a job, wear what we choose, receive an education and speak our mind…there are women around the world who, shockingly, still do not have the rights we do. And so we must speak for them…because we can.
As “soul sisters” of an amazing global tribe of courageous, resilient, inspiring girls and women we tell the stories of the young girls who are not allowed to go to school simply because they are girls….the young women who are forbidden to speak to any man other than her husband for fear she will be killed…the young girls who must endure gang rape in the heart of the Congo…the young girls who must undergo the brutal practice of female genital mutilation. As shocking as it is to believe, and as difficult as it is to think of, we speak about these atrocities to create awareness. We speak about it to help bring an end to it…and we believe.
We believe in change…we believe that one day equality will be a God-given right for every human being.
I recently asked an amazing group of young girls to write down what they believe in and here are just a few responses.
Beyond their bright hopeful and innocent selection of words, I watched a group of girls rally around with utter excitement to share their “believe” word. They paid careful attention to the words they chose…words that included: courage, equality, friendship, love, smiles, believing and soul, among others. They supported each other with encouragement, laughter, strength and security-standing beside one another in front of the camera. This exercise was a statement of the very thing that makes me believe that there will be much more to celebrate in the years ahead…I believe in unity! These girls, all different ages, worked together with thoughtfulness, consideration and creativity to express themselves and help one another.
I recently read a fabulous blog by Kari Henley in the Huffington Post about International Women’s Day which included an invitation to “reach out to the oldest woman you know.” To give her a call, to hear how the world has changed for the better from her, and to thank her for playing a part in where we stand today, “On the shoulders of our great grandmother’s.”
I would add, after the experiment I witnessed, that we also take a moment to reach out to all the amazing young girls in our lives on whose beliefs our future rests. Educate them about the progress we’ve made and make them aware of how lucky they are to have a world of opportunities ahead of them. Remind them of the challenges that remain for countless girls and women in different parts of the world. Encourage them to believe they can use their voice and their freedom to achieve true equality…and to create change.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day I ask you to acknowledge all the amazing girls and women who live in your heart and soul and who inspire you through their friendship, in the most meaningful ways. I encourage you to reach out to them and share this video, with a simple expression of gratitude that says, just as my dear friend Erika taught me, “I just want you to know I think you’re amazing…”
While not all of us are able to travel to the far reaches of the world to hold the hand of a woman or child who has survived unimagined adversity…we can use our voice to praise each other…to remind each other of the powerful truth that we believe in them…and we can “pay it forward” so that girls and women around the world become part of the inspiring ripple effect of love and all the “good” that comes from that!
I believe one person can make a difference in the world…that one person is YOU!
Happy International Women’s Day!!! Let me know what your “Believe” word is by posting it below and sharing your voice.
With love and gratitude,
Inspired friend and Founder of the Global Grassroots Movement, “I Believe She’s Amazing”
Visit our site to learn about Erika, the inspiring woman behind this movement