By Sue Todd
Thursday March 8 was International Women’s Day. Celebrated since 1911, it is a day to celebrate the social, economic and political achievements of women past, present and future. Each year, a chosen theme invites us to reflect on issues affecting women globally and this year the theme was “Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty”.
Celebrations big and small, organized and informal, unfolded all around the world as people gathered to reflect on progress made, consider the realities of today and dream and plan for what could be.
On Thursday morning as our circle of friends gathered in the Great Room, we also took time to mark this special day. As we went around the circle each woman lit a candle to honor and share the story of one woman who has been an encouragement, an inspiration, and a pioneer.
For Bonita, in Thailand, for leading the way out of hunger and poverty through education for women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked.
For Gwen, in Vancouver, who made one friend realize that you can dream, and that dreams do come true.
For a beloved Grandma in Montreal, who made the very most out of very little, pouring everything she had into the lives of her beautiful grandchildren.
For little girls everywhere, the hope of the future, for the spark of light and love and potential they hold inside.
I hope that you, too, took a moment to reflect on this day, either in a circle or simply in your own heart. And as women – mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, friends – may our lives be inspired and inspirational, and may we always find our voice and place in the larger story of bringing freedom, wholeness, justice and empowerment to women everywhere.
Happy Women’s Day!