As we gather today – across the United States and around the world – to celebrate 100 years of victories women have won for themselves, their families and communities, I am also reminded of the many unsung heroes in our communities now and those who came before us.
I am reminded of my mother, Sigrid Ivanovic, who taught me that I can start and run my own successful business while growing and nurturing meaningful relationships (and perhaps a family one day).
I am reminded of my grandmother, Erna Schaefer, who rebuild her family and community in post-World War II Germany, raised a family on the front lines of the Cold War in a little town along the east / west border, and steadfastly cared for her husband during the last years of his life.
I am reminded of all the women who fight to protect their bodies, their families, their communities, every single day, whose work goes unnoticed and unacknowledged on a daily basis and during the numerous televised and publicized television award shows. I solute them today and every day.
I am reminded of our many steadfast and enduring allies – husbands, partners, friends, fathers, brothers, uncles – who come along side of us as we fight for our liberation.
As I reflect on the many hard-fought victories over the last 100 years, I am also painfully aware of the many ways in which women’s bodies, families and communities are under attack from many places of power in our societies – from local, state and federal government, from within many of our places of worship, from within our educational institutions, and even from within many of our homes.
….from the threat of defunding Planned Parenthood and other critical health and and wellness service
….from egregious and ridiculous anti-immigrant racial profiling legislation
….from policies that empower officials to shackle pregnant women in our prisons
On March 8…..that’s TODAY at 11:00 a.m., women’s rights and human rights activists will host a press conference/celebration in front of the State Capitol to celebrate 100 years of struggle led by immigrant women and call on law makers to reject legislation attacking immigrant women’s human rights.
The heroic strikes by women garment workers, mostly young immigrants, at the turn of the century electrified the world, and their efforts to win decent wages and working conditions were honored by establishing March 8 as International Working Women’s Day.
“The achievements of tens of millions of women at work, in their communities, families, organizations, and schools – today and over the decades – must not be ignored and disrespected by racially-biased, anti-immigrant legislation,” said Loretta Ross, a founder and the National Coordinator of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. “As women from all backgrounds, we will gather at the Capitol to demand human rights for all women.”
*from IWD press release, SPARK Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collaborative
How are you celebrating 100 years of struggle and victory for women’s and human rights? Send photos and video and I will post with a link to your blog or community/organization blog!
Who are the unsung female heroes and trailblazers in your life?