Throughout the month of March, we honor the cultural, social and political achievements of women. March commemorates these milestones and so much more officially on March 8th with International Women’s Day.
With significant contributions to literature, science, the arts and most aspects of human existence, women have a long history of adding meaningfully to the world. As we shine the spotlight on our climb to equal rights and access, there is so much to celebrate as well as so much work yet to be done. If we do not all have the same opportunities and access to health care, the job market, voting, reproductive rights, safety, and other human rights, we have not arrived. So let us lift up women who are becoming CEO’s, Heads of State, Nobel Prize winners, Astronauts, Supreme Court Judges, business owners, scientists, authors, teachers; while at the same time calling for an end to trafficking women and girls, gender-based violence, forced sterilization, hate crimes against transgender women, sexual harassment and abuse, the gender pay gap, child marriage, female genital mutilation, rape culture, sexism, misogynoir…the list goes on.
We work in education so it is our duty of care to teach our young women and girls how to advocate and develop a strong sense of self-belief among many other attributes. Equally important is the nurturing of our boys and young men on how to support and champion the girls and women in their lives.
Educators are instrumental in providing the building blocks that promote gender equality and teaching our students about phenomenal women such as Wangari Maathai, Miriam Makeba, Yaa Asantewaa, Albertina Sisulu, Funmilayo Ransome-Kut, Queen Nanny, Winnie Mandela, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, or Lady Oyinkansola Abayomi. Learning our vast and diverse history is a key element that supports the understanding of how true human rights liberation can be achieved. The girls in our classrooms and schools will become the women who will continue the work of our ancestors in paving the way for a more just and equitable world.
So, during this month and throughout the year, celebrate, love and uplift the women in your life and communities.
AISA co-facilitator of the Women in Leadership Affinity Group
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