Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day! The theme for 2021 is #ChoosetoChallenge. It is a call to action, asking us to think critically in order to overcome gender inequality while also celebrating all of our advancements and achievements throughout history.
“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
According to UN Women, “The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
2021 feels like a very poignant year to recognize the word “challenge” because, in the last 12 months, we have certainly faced more than our fair share of them. We tackled them with the same toughness and grit the women before us have shown, passing down a long succession of navigating tough waters and fighting for what is good and true.
The beauty of International Women’s Day is that it does not belong to any one organization, government, charity, or institution. It is simply meant to recognize the efforts of those who came before us and carry the torch forward for human rights. It is a profound reminder to look behind us to all the women who have marched, sacrificed, and fought to get us where we are today. Then glance to our left and right and recognize all of the amazing females currently working hard in big and small ways that are keeping the fire of our families, communities, and nations burning. And finally, to look forward and continue to make sure our voices are heard, our interests are represented and our importance recognized.
If 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 have taught us nothing else, it should be abundantly clear that women hold this world together. As we were limping along, bruised and battered from the seemingly relentless blows, it was women who picked us up and helped us forge ahead.
Women stood on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in a million different capacities, with most of us, assuming more than one role. We showed up as health care workers, parents, teachers, essential employees, protectors, caregivers, small business owners, innovators, community organizers, and local and national leaders. Just to name a few.
While we were banding together to help our friends, loved ones, and community members navigate an unprecedented year, many of us were also tasked with the job of motherhood. Raising babies can be a full-time job in a normal year, but we just endured a year that was anything but normal. Supporting children reeling from school cancellations and feelings of isolation was yet another accolade we should be adding to our impressive resumes. We did it while playing a multitude of other roles at the very same time, often times within the same day.
Women are the cornerstones of our culture. We are nurturers, change makers, thought leaders, innovators, and problem solvers. We are flawed, imperfect beings who keep going despite the circumstances because we know little eyes are watching us. It is our superpower. Throughout history, women have fought hard and evolved to conquer the hardships of the time. Each battle won is reflected in the free life we live today.
This past year, we once again were able to prove our resilience.
We get. It. Done. Who run the world? We do.
Cheers to International Women’s Day, girls. #ChoosetoChallenge