Happy International Women’s Day to All!

100_0475Today is my favourite International such-and-such Day of the year. It is International Women’s Day 8 March.

A couple of reasons for IWD being my favourite International Day of the year:

  1. Women and in particular girls are one of the most significant and beneficial tools for developing communities (sorry already calling women tools)
    • If a girl has access to education and their right to safety and equality they will get an education, get married later in life, have significantly bigger chances of employment and have less children (in general)
      • Why is this of great benefit to us all? Because women on average give back more to their community than men creating more equality and opportunity for all
  2. Women are the most powerful weapon in gaining peace, in conflict resolution and reconciliation (sorry now calling women weapons)
    • Women reach compromise and heal scars for others faster and more effectively than men
  3. I know I wouldn’t have been able to ramble around the world in exactly the same ease if I was a women
    • Extra pressure, less recognition, denigrated roles and money and in particular more safety considerations. Not that women can’t travel around the world just they would have had to do it with more hassle just because they are female
    • I can’t begin to think about the trauma and experiences the women in South Sudan have faced in the Sudan war and now the civil conflict. They have been raped, murdered, tortured and suffered (along with the men) plus the extra atrocities that are specific and only women have to face
  4. IWD is the day before my big sister’s birthday and I get to reflect and feel how special the most important women in my life are – my two sisters and my mother and then all of those other brilliant and wonderful women who nourish and enhance my life and the life of others
  5. Too many more and we should always celebrate our mothers, sisters, female friends and the women and girls we don’t know…
judith selling mandazi

Judith – polio survivor, mother of three and the best mandazi (fried bread) maker in Kapchorwa. Not only supports herself but also her children and all of this not being able to walk or assistance from others…

I don’t pretend to know what it would really be like but I can acknowledge and advocate for more equality, justice and empowerment for women.


This photo is from Uganda last year as I don’t just go around the streets of South Sudan taking photos of girls in school uniform with a pen and notebook

I can tell you how much it warms my heart and hope for humanity when I see a girl here in South Sudan with a pen, notebook and school uniform knowing she will have more access and opportunity to moulding the future of her family, community and country.

To help summarise some respect, acknowledgement and appreciation for girls and women I’ll share with you a couple of quotes:

“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health — including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation. And I would also venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended.”

Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

Remarks by Kofi Annan at the opening of the forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women marking Beijing +10, 2005, Press Release SG/SM/9738 WOM/1489, http://bit.ly/pkeB5 accessed Dec 2009

And this quote:

“My husband knows the importance of what I’m doing. He sees me as a very important person in the family. I have big expectations, the biggest is for my child. I would really like him to study at university. He could even become a lawyer so he can defend women like his mum.”

tukaejeTukaeje participated in training from the charity CAMFED, enabling her to start a small business and provide for her family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qtChAPYNhQ

Both of these quotes and the video of Tukaeje are a part of the Global Poverty Project presentation which I have been fortunate to deliver to audiences over 300 times. This is always my most emotional and favourite part.

Happy International Women’s Day to all!

If you want to support our third Millennium Development Goal – Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women then check out these wonderful people doing wonderful things to help us get there:

  • An excellent source of all things gender equality IWDA (International Women’s Development Association): http://iwda.org.au/
  • A special little project in the hills of Swaziland – Operation Hope and their Sister Act kits of menstrual pads and soaps to help girls continue to complete their high school education: http://operationhopeinc.org.au/
  • The fantastic Orchid Project to end FGC (Female Genital Cutting): orchidproject.org
  • Australian domestic gender equality, check out the brilliant and effective Fair Agenda: http://www.fairagenda.org/
  • And awesomely is Global Citizen and their look at gender equality advocacy and action: http://globalcitizenmovement.com/
  • Plus you must read this book to learn more about women and development: Half the Sky…half the sky

About Living Geo d'Arcy

Experiences are the richest thing in life. Love them and live them.
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2 Responses to Happy International Women’s Day to All!

  1. lunny06 says:

    Reblogged this on Teaspoons of Change: better for people & planet and commented:

    A big shout out to all the girls and women in the world and here is why I love and try to appreciate International Women’s Day…

  2. Fi Grech says:

    You rock d’Arce. Thanks for the shout out! Hope all is well with you.

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