International Women’s Day – March 8th

International Women’s Day – March 8th

Is it just me or is anyone else bothered by the fact we need to have an International Women’s Day?  I know March is Women’s History Month, but women are over half the population and I haven’t seen an International Men’s Day or a month of Men’s History.

Really, don’t feel sorry for the men out there.

We get to celebrate them frequently.  And just in case we haven’t done enough, Forbes Magazine published an article, On International Women’s Day; Let’s Hear It for the Men.  Don’t get me wrong, we need men to help get us what we should already have.  My husband, Roger, has been my champion for the entire time we’ve been together.  Without his counsel and support, it would have been much more difficult to have accomplished what I have today.  Internationally, there are countries where women have only the voice of the men and without their support, nothing would change. I get it.  Yet something seems wrong when a leading business magazine chooses to honor International Women’s Day with a story about the men who have supported and championed our efforts.

Do I sound a little frustrated?  A little cynical?  I am.

I don’t want my gender to have a day of celebration.  I don’t want to have a month to highlight our gender’s history.  I want it to be as important as men’s history and celebrated as men are every day.

If we have to have a day to celebrate women, why not celebrate our unique gifts?  Our ability to disagree and yet be civil?  I heard a report on NPR All Things Considered regarding the two women Senators, Kirsten Gillibrand, NY, and Claire McCaskill, MO about the way they were on opposite sides of the military sexual assault reforms bill that Senator Gillibrand was sponsoring in the Senate.  They had very different views on the issue – exact opposite actually, but they were able to resist over the course of discussion of calling each other “Hiltler” as I’ve heard many of the male Senator do.  He’s their go to guy when it comes to settling an argument.  Let’s celebrate our female leaders who can make things happen, without vilifying their opponent.

When we look internationally, I think there are wonderful women who daily, not only stand up and are heard, but put their life on the line for what they believe, in ways American women will hopefully never experience.  I think of Malala and her fight for the right for women and girls to be educated. Or the brave women of Liberia, Leymah Gbowee, Comfort Freeman, and Asatu Bah Kenneth who joined together to work for peace in their war ravaged country.  Or the Saudi Arabian women who defiantly drive cars when they understand they could be arrested, assaulted or beaten.

Okay, women, what do you think?  Are you satisfied with just a day of celebration?  Can we have daily celebration for ourselves, our daughters, mothers, sisters, and any female in our life?  Can we care about Equal Rights in the United States?  Can we stand up for making our own healthcare decisions?  Can we support equitable pay for all?  Can we make sure all women have a voice in our corporations – on boards and in executive suites?  Will we speak up for our fellow women in countries where they have no voice?

That’s what I call a celebration.

I am passionate about helping women make the most of their skills and talents in the workplace, as well as encouraging them to ask for what they want and deserve. Creating Ask Ajna with Jae Lynn has been a labor of love and if we can help women find their authentic voice and support one another, we will build a community of change.

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