“I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai
By Dawn Onley
Yesterday, in honor of International Women’s Day, I donned my red camisole and sweater as a sign of solidarity with women from all races, nationalities, religions and beliefs. Although I work from home – for a small, woman-owned business – and didn’t take the day off, I’m committed to speaking up and doing my part to help make our world more equitable and inclusive.
I will #BeBoldforChange by challenging bias and inequality and by continuing to draw attention to the gender pay gap, like I did here, weight discrimination that disproportionately impacts women, like I did here, and other issues that negatively impact women.
Samantha and I will continue celebrating what it means to be women who are excelling and achieving and praying and hoping and mothering and loving through our weekday blog posts here at Women Who Hope. We see the triumphs that women achieve on a daily basis – in our families, on our jobs, in our civic, religious and social organizations – sometimes against formidable circumstances. We see our fight and determination. We see our struggles and fears.
We know that when women unite, we are a force to be reckoned with; when we realize our power, we are limitless.
We are the ones who deeply feel things; the glue that keeps it all together. We give our hearts. We open up our homes. We are nurturers of the human condition.
There are no boundaries to our love, it’s as bottomless as the ocean. We are as strong as our hope, tested but not easily broken. We are a wellspring of wisdom, gently measured out like an ingredient to a cake.
Our sacrifice knows no limit.
“It was the women who stayed with Jesus, when all the men fled and denied their faith,” Paulo Coelho writes in Brida. “It was the women who wept for him, who went with him to the cross, who visited the tomb on the third day.”
We women often forget our value. We are precious and worthy of honor, respect and dignity. All of the time we commit to everyone else but ourselves. All of those dark, sleepless nights without a star in sight. All of the heartache and pain. Every ounce of the anxiety and stress. All of the worries. The tough lessons.
All of the prayers.
We experience it all — the highs and the lows. But somehow we never lose hope.
We are women. Phenomenal women. Precious gems. We are wondrously made. Let us fully recognize our worth and power. Let the world do the same.