I've heard this before and I bet you have too: “I don’t celebrate a single day as Women’s Day because every day is Women’s Day”. To be honest, this makes me sad. To me Women’s Day is about all the courageous women who preceded us or surround us and who give us the gift of life as we know it. It is about the brilliant feminists who work hard to ensure women deserve equal treatment on issues that matter. On this special day, I thank those who make it possible for us to be who we are.
When I vote, I thank the women suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony for paving the way for me to voice my choice.
When I look back at the wonderful experience I had at university, I thank Judith Murray who argued that the nation “required intelligent and virtuous citizens—and since the education of patriotic sons (future voters) rested with mothers, women should be educated.” These are the types of arguments it took before we could get a degree.
When I watch women's sports, I thank Wilma Rudolph who overcame polio to win gold in the 1960 Olympics.
When we need to mend, I thank Marie Curie the winner of two Nobel prizes, whose pioneering work with radioactivity benefitted physics, chemistry, and medicine, and who lost her life to the ill effects of her work.
When I read words that make my mind dance, I thank Toni Robinson, a product of the segregated south who went on the win a Nobel prize despite the incredible challenges in her life.
When I worry about our environment, I thank Wangari Maathai a Nobel winning Kenyan who pioneered the Green Belt movement focused on planting of trees and women's rights.
And when I wake up, I thank Ruth Bader Ginsberg for her decades of work against gender bias, Malala Yousafzai for her untiring devotion to girl's education, and Gloria Steinem for inspiring generations of women achievers.
I could go on forever. But today I pause to thank the women who see what is worth fighting for, dedicate their lives to their goal, and gift women the right to be "us". Today is not just another day. It is an incredibly special day. Happy International Women’s Day!