Darwin Cruz is Online Communications Officer for the Grameen Foundation.
Today is International Women's Day. I first learned about this holiday a few years ago. Back then, I didn't understand the nature of the celebration or why it's been celebrated for the past 100 years. But now I realize that though in the US it's not yet a major holiday, around the world this day has a big impact.
Take a look at the over 750 events celebrating this day around the world. This year's theme is: Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress of all. I definitely believe in that last statement: unless we are all making progress together, there is no true progress. I wanted to share a couple excerpts from NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a huge advocate for women worldwide. From his book Half the Sky, he writes:
Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. “Women hold up half the sky,” in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos.