Tuesday, March 08, 2005

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. I'm not generally one for a marked holiday like Columbus Day or Black History Month. Often those days or months are set aside to remember a person or a cause but become tokenized and meaningless. I wouldn't have even known today was International Women's Day but thanks to Yahoo News I do. But what does it mean to me?

Every day I read the paper and see the news and am horrified we live in such a cruel world. I get that the media puts those stories front and center because it sells papers and grabs viewers but still, those stories are real. Yesterday I read about the rampant rapes and beatings of women and girls that are occurring in the Congo by militiamen and renegade soldiers. They say TENS OF THOUSANDS of women and girls, as young as 3 years old, are being victimized and only TEN (yes 10!) have been convicted of rape. And I think about what I saw in "Hotel Rwanda" or what is going on in Iraq and the rapes in Sudan and what happened in Bosnia and how an estimated 30% of all female homicide victims in the United States are killed by a partner/boyfriend/lover. . .

And I want to cry. And scream. And beat people up. And throw stuff.

And then I think about how lucky I am to have never been abused, raped, trapped in war zone, denied my right to vote, or not allowed to work and I am grateful, incredibly grateful.

There is so much work to be done, so many people to help. We can effect change every day by how we live and how we treat people. Start today. Do one thing. Get educated. Don't turn a blind eye. Talk to other people. It will make all the difference.

We CAN be the change we want to see in the world.

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