FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY THIS YEAR, MARY JOINS IN ON THE CONVERSATION AND SHARES HER THOUGHTS ON WHAT IT MEANS TO #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE.
One day each year we bring the conversation of women forward. A conversation that deserves more than one day each year. Thankfully this conversation has been growing more over the last few years and we no longer rely on International Women’s Day to champion the message that women are relentless, strong, inspiring, equal, and so much more.
This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge - allowing us all to define what we are challenging. We can challenge ourselves to open this conversation up more, more than just today but every day. I choose to challenge myself to celebrate women more - celebrate the women in my personal life who have carved a path for me, who have raised me to stand on my own, who have empowered me to achieve anything. I choose to challenge myself to speak up in conversations and situations where women are not given equal opportunities, to inform and educate those where they are falling short. I choose to never settle, to never back down, to never stop pushing forward.
As we fight for equal rights, equal pay, and equality for women I also focus on those women who have empowered us as a collective in the past. Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed in 2020 has left a legacy deeper than many as the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. Princess Diana who challenged the stereotypical ideals of royalty who confidently carved her own path as her own woman while the entire world watched her live her life. Rosa Parks always will be an inspiration to not only women but individuals everywhere and pivotal to the fight for racial equality. Malala Yousafzai who is the youngest woman to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize after surviving a gunshot to the head as she was an advocate for girls rights to education in Pakistan. These are names and women we know from afar, from what they’ve done in their lives, communities and for the world. There are also millions of more women who have championed for themselves, their families, friends, communities and womankind whose names we do not know.
Today and everyday moving forward I challenge you to learn more names of women who are fighting for equality. I challenge you to be one of those names and to find your voice and use it for our generation and those to come. Lastly, I encourage everyone, of all genders, ages and ethnicities, to #ChooseToChallenge a better world where women have the same opportunities and rights as men.
Visit International Women’s Day to learn more about how to get involved.