It’s March 8th again. It’s International Women’s Day; a day set aside to celebrate all women in the world, irrespective of their backgrounds and differences.
We celebrate appreciation, respect, love and admiration towards women. We equally celebrate the numerous achievements registered in the social, political and economic spheres among others.
“A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women” is the theme for this year’s celebrations. Somewhere in New York, Governments, activists and supporters of women’s rights are gathered for the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Discussions revolve around the priority theme: Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. Earlier this year, the world witnessed the greatest movement of feminists and supporters on February 14th, demanding an end to Violence against Women. The ‘I Rise’ campaign reached out to people from all parts of the world, united towards achieving a common goal. Yesterday, in the United States of America, the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law by President Obama. It is only the first quarter of the year, but I can’t help celebrating these great achievements, while remaining positive for even greater things by the time the year rolls out.
The conversation continues, but the call for action has grown even louder. Do you hear it? Are you ready to take the promise? Are you ready to deliver that promise?
It starts from the smallest unit in society: the family. Take the promise to protect the women and girls in your home from violence and abuse of all forms. We’ll sweep the world clean, one home at a time!
Today, I honor the women in history! The strong Lingueres who paved the way for today’s feminists. The brave ladies who broke the traditional norms to speak up and demand that women get their basic human rights.
I celebrate the thousands of activists, carrying the torch forward and standing firm on their feet. The resilient men and women who shall not rest until the woman is treated as an equal, a human and one of God’s noble creations.
I stand in solidarity with all victims and survivors of violence and gender-influenced mistreatment. The world owes you justice. I stand tall with you and add my voice to your cry, growing louder until the world pays attention. I pray for those who didn’t survive the abuse and hope that their deaths will be avenged.
I salute my male comrades, who’ve broken the barriers and stay firm in their pledge to support the cause of women. I strongly believe solidarity and cooperation are indispensable to the success of our campaign. Equality can only be achieved when all parties concerned understand what it means. Our dear we-men, your efforts are appreciated.
I challenge all goverments and people in power to live up to their promises, assume their responsibilities, respect the rights and provide for the needs of the people they are meant to serve. The promise goes beyond signing and ratifying conventions and treaties. It extends to concrete and effective action to uphold and put into place the many recommendations they put forward! The world is watching and I implore you to act now!
Time is running out. One act of violence is one act too many. We can not afford to lose any more women, to death, physical disability, emotional breakdowns, psychological trauma among others.
Speak up! Act now! Do whatever you can! Don’t sit back and wait till it gets to you or those dear to you. Every woman’s cry should be your cry too! Live the promise!
“Though she’s half a world away
Something in me wants to say
We are one woman
And we shall shine” -One Woman song
Have a joyous International Women’s Day!