Wednesday, March 7, 2012

International Women's Day 2012

It's International Women's Day 2012. I know I need to blog about this.
It's kind of a must do. A good must, but a must.

Here goes. I'll blog about what International Women's Day is all about for me. For me it's about raising awareness. Reflecting. An opportunity to tell women's stories, draw attention to troubling trends and statistics, remember achievements, celebrate advances, rally for support for the challenges that still face women in our communities and around the world. To talk. To think. To take action.

Maybe for some, it's a good chance to say 'feministy' things to people who might not otherwise listen or care, or put up IWD posters in an office where the boy's club still exists. Maybe you'll read or see something that shocks you. Like, the fact that gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women of child-bearing age worldwide than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined (Source: The Great Debate UK) or that women do two-thirds of the world’s work for just 10 percent of the world’s income (Source: The Great Debate UK).

Maybe you'll watch something or hear something that wakes you up to the violent and gut-wrenching truth about sex-trafficking. (Warning: The link will take you to a brutal, graphic film depicting the reality of sex-trafficking.) Or you'll see something that makes you think twice about how girls and women are being sexualized, and objectified everyday, in Western mainstream media. Maybe you'll be the one waking those around you up.

If you do nothing else on International Women's Day, watch Miss. Representation. Watch it with your teen sons and daughters. If you're a teacher, show it to your class. If you're a decent human with a functioning cerebral cortex, then watch it, and consider it's message. Consider the media you buy into. The products you buy. The companies and outlets that you keep allowing to devalue and objectify our kids, and jeopardize their futures. Then sign up to get involved with a Chain of Girl Goodness, a platform that has the interests of our kids, and especially our girls at the forefront. If you're a parent of a girl, connect with Pigtail Pals, who want to 'Redefine Girly', and consider checking out the wonderful work of Beauty Redefined, who are inspirational in 'taking back beauty' for women.

Perhaps International Women's Day 2012 will make you talk. Make you think. Perhaps it will make you thankful for the choices you have. For too many women, there are no choices. Education, marriage, work, childbearing. All their decisions are made for them.

International Women's Day makes me thankful for all the choices I have, for the wonderful women I know and have in my life, and it reminds me to keep raising awareness about the injustice, violence, sexualization and objectification that women around the world face every day, because of their gender.

Hopefully International Women's Day will inspire you. Will you spread the message?

Peace and love to all x

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