International Women's Day, Our Celebration...
March 8, 2011
Today International Women's Day means many different things to people in countries around the world. One of my favorite traditions is recognizing the women in our everyday lives by giving flowers to one's mothers, wives, daughters, much like our Mother's Day custom in the U.S.
Another custom is to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary women.
Over the years, Feminists for Life has recognized a number of Remarkable Pro-Life Women,® such as the President of the Republic of Ireland, Mary McAleese, who wrote the powerful preface of Swimming Against the Tide, a collection of essays from FFL members in England, Ireland, and the U.S. (For more information about ordering this and other books, please visit FFL's updated Covetable Stuff page.)
"The myth that to be a feminist is to be pro-choice has forced many women to resign from the name of feminism, to settle back bruised into the silence of the margins."
This week I invite you to read about another Remarkable Pro-Life Woman, the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, whose presence on the international stage is sorely missed after she was assassinated a few years ago.
"[T]oday the cries of the girl child reach out to us. This [Fourth World Conference on Women] needs to chart a course that can create a climate where the girl child is as welcomed and valued as a boy child.... We must shape a world free from exploitation and maltreatment of women, a world in which women have opportunities to rise to the highest levels in politics, business, diplomacy and other spheres of life; where there are no battered women; where honor and dignity are protected in war and conflict; where we have economic freedom and independence; where we are equal partners in peace and development.
Of course what distinguishes FFL from many other groups is that--like Bhutto and McAleese--we reject the idea that our advancement comes at the expense of our unborn children.
In fact, one way FFL measures the true status of women is by evaluating support for pregnant women, birthmothers and mothers in the home, school, workplace and our society in general.
So when we communicate with leaders, administrators and employers, we consistently advocate a supportive school or working environment so that no woman feels forced to choose.
Let today, International Women's Day, be a day you renew your commitment to Feminists for Life's mission and ongoing work.
And maybe today we should surprise a woman who has made a difference in our lives--perhaps by giving us life--with a flower, a note, or just a kind word she didn't expect, but richly deserved.
Keep the revolution alive. March forth!
Because women deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster
- Spread the word by sharing Serrin's "Long Live Benazir" article on Facebook, your website, your blog, Twitter, etc.
- Tweet your favorite quotes from this series (#MarchForthFFL), like Benazir Bhutto's "[We must] create a climate where the girl child is as welcomed and valued as a boy child."
- Honor women who have made a difference in your life by making a tribute gift.
- Celebrate International Women's Day by joining efforts to stop human trafficking both domestically and internationally.
- Download, print, and post FFL's free "Another Anti-Choice Fanatic: Susan B. Anthony" ad on bulletin boards in community centers, places of worship, grocery stores, restaurants, shops, libraries, dorms, and student centers. (When posting ads, always ask permission and follow any posting guidelines, regulations, or ordinances.)
- Download and print your favorite of FFL's free iron-on decals and use it to make a reusable tote for your lunch, the library, the grocery store, and other shopping. The same designs can also be used to make t-shirts, aprons, and many other items.
- Order FFL's NEW "Voices of our Feminist Foremothers" brochures, featuring Susan B. Anthony and other feminist foremothers, to distribute for Women's History Month in March. (Don't forget to wear your t-shirts or carry the brochures in your new bag!)
- Plan a trip to the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Massachusetts.
- Write an op-ed for publication in a newspaper, magazine, journal, newsletter, or bulletin, or post it on your own blog or Facebook page. Use the resources in the feminist history section of FFL's website and be sure to link to www.feministsforlife.org in your article. (You help make FFL's website one of the most visited in the world!)