International Women's DayToday is International Women’s Day. I could not let this day pass without acknowledging it on my blog.  Women make such an important contribution to society that should be acknowledged every day, not just today.  But I think today is a good day to start.

Women make great contributions in so many ways.  Women Group of Womencontribute as mothers, teachers, nurses, corporate executives, bloggers, firemen, policemen, soldiers, computer programmers, and missionaries.  And so much more.    Women contribute to the arts and entertainment.  They comfort sick children.  They provide service around the world.  They help protect the defenseless.  Women have also done much to bring peace to a troubled world.  Women such as Mother Teresa and Malala Yousafzai are just a couple of examples of the great things women can do when given the opportunity.  And so many women today have doors opened to them that could not even be imagined a 100 years ago.

However, there are still many places where women suffer daily.  Sometimes I worry that as women in the west fight to make their own advances, advances that do need to be made, we forget about those women whose struggles are so much harder and so much more dire than our own.  That’s why I just want to briefly mention a few of them.  Reminders that there is much more that needs to be done to expand women’s rights across the globe.

Two Muslim Arabic women walkingRecently, women activists in Saudi Arabia presented a memorandum to the Shoure Council to end the absolute authority of male guardians over women.  Saudi women cannot drive.  They cannot travel without the permission of their male guardians.  They cannot seek some medical care without the guardian’s permission.  They also need the male guardian’s permission to work or leave the university where they are studying during study hours.  The laws which curb their rights are not based on religious teachings and the women of Saudi deserve our support as they seek to end their oppression.

Sudan Envoy - Abu Shouk Women's CenterThe violence in Darfur does not seem to receive the attention that it once did. Yet their continues to be widespread systematic rape and sexual violence toward women and girls. Their have been instances of this happening to girls as young as three.  Female civil leaders are continuously being abused for bringing attention to oppressive laws that limit women’s freedoms.  Did you know that women in Darfur have been flogged for wearing pants?

Afghanistan Women in 1926Once upon a time the women of Afghanistan were among the most free women in all of the Middle East.  However, that began to change in the latter part of the 20th Century and since then women have struggled to gain freedom.  Things have improved bit by bit under Karzai administration, but within the last year the improvement that have been gained or once again being lost.  the EU Ambassador has said that “Afghanistan is one of the worst places to be a woman.”  Did you realize that women in Afghanistan who are raped have been prosecuted for “moral crimes”?

These are just a few of the examples of the struggles that so many women around the world face.  We cannot afford to forget these women.  They will never gain the rights they deserve, if we forget about them.  We have to remember their struggles and let the world know that change still needs to happen.

Despite the many struggles that women face, there are still lots of great things women are accomplishing throughout the world.  So many types of women, doing so many different things.  What an amazing time we live in.  That’s why I want to end with a song from Martin McBride, This One’s for the Girls.  This is such a positive song about women and all that they accomplish each day that this is how I want to end my post.  I hope everyone who is reading this takes the time to day to remember the importance of women in all of our lives.