There is nothing stronger than a woman who has put herself back together. However, I must add that the community that helped her pick up the pieces and move forward is equally as strong. Sometimes we forget to stop and thank the people that are there for us when the hurricane blows through and knocks all the walls down.
It is very difficult to tell the people we love something traumatic about us. And it is so incredibly hard to hear about trauma happening to the people we love and to be there to support them. But to everyone who shares, everyone who listens, and everyone who supports - I see you, I appreciate you, and I applaud you.
International Women’s Day stirs something inside of me. We should celebrate the wonderful, powerful, strong, resilient women in our lives every single day (and whether or not we identify with their lifestyles, choices, or habits, every single woman is just that). But, at the same time, there are so many reasons to highlight the struggles (every day or overarching ones) that women in every single country in the world are working through because we still have so far to go.
I cannot stress enough how thankful and grateful I am for my “village” because I would be adrift somewhere in the middle of a bottomless abyss without them. I cannot thank them enough, there are not enough words in the English language or enough hours of the day. And I cannot believe all of the amazing things people around the world are doing to champion women’s rights and gender equality.
I am so grateful that I am working for an organization that is committed to gender equality and the advancement of women’s rights. I have seen firsthand the positive impact we can have of the lives of not just the person we are working with in the field but for the generations to come and I can’t imagine ever doing anything else – because as discouraging as it is, the things we need to make happen to live in a world where gender equality is the reality for every single person in every single corner of the world will unfortunately not be done in my lifetime. But I have hope and have seen the seeds that are being planted to achieve these goals.
We march on. We march on together. We march on stronger.
UN Women did a campaign this year where they imagined a society where gender equality is real - that is where the photo is from and you can check it out here.