Today is the day we put our feet up and celebrate the very simple fact that we are and (in most cases) always will be women.
Wondering what to write, the women in our office tried to think of reasons why it is great to be a woman. Ourlist started with things like; we have soft skin, we are nurturing, we wear nice pants… I was very quickly reminded how lucky I am being a woman in the UK.
Today, as I sit here with the sun streaming through the window, a friend I met at an anti-trafficking conference in Egypt is inspiring her fellow women to meet in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to use this day both a celebration and as a way of re-connecting with a political voice that was taken away and forgotten.
As I sit here, I know there are women and young girls working in a brothel I visited as part of a project run by Oasis India. I can see it perfectly; a narrow house in the middle of a district famous for its sex industry. Small sprawling rooms no bigger that a sauna but just as warm with at least 8-10 young women and girls in each, waiting for customers with a man guarding the door….. I think they would find my list insulting.
As I sit here with my Masters Degree I think about the girls denied an education because they are girls or because there are no girl’s toilets in their school or because the school is too far away. Pretty grim isn’t it?
To stop me hurling myself out the window in despair, I think a little bit deeper….
Sally in Egypt has taken to the streets. She may be surrounded by hundreds of empowered women, she may be there yelling on her own, it doesn’t matter how many people are there – the movement has start somehow. Admirably she has the drive to get up and fight for what she believes in.
I can see women sat in Mumbai’s brothels but I can also see the tiny lady from Oasis India talking to them and holding my arm for support. They won’t stop fighting for India’s untouchables.
Then I read an email from 3 mums in Australia who are taking part in Freedom Ticket for Life and want to raise money to get vulnerable girls into school.
Life’s funny isn’t it?
We are women and women rock. We have a voice; we should always use it because one thing we are good at is shrieking.
An excited to be a woman Victoria Kuhr