This week, I am borrowing from Anne’s message; I have made a few modifications to reflect my own perspective on International Women’s Day 2022.
Rather than a day of celebration, a day that is a day that commemorates the social, political and economic achievements of women, in 2022, International Women’s Day/Week feels more like a day of remembrance. A day to remember and be grateful for the privileges women enjoy in Canada and a day to remember there is still so much work to do!
This year's theme is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” The #BreakTheBias hashtag calls on people to work towards a world that is equitable, inclusive, and free from bias and discrimination so the playing field is levelled for women moving forward.
I know Anne is discouraged that we are still struggling to achieve equity for women and girls all around the world, including right here in our own country. Many of the challenges she faced in the 1970s still persist for women and girls right here in Canada.
It is beyond time for us to raise our voices in support of our sisters around the world. Beyond time for us to use our influence to bring about sustainable change! Time for each of us do whatever we can!
As you may know, Anne is a great admirer of Maya Angelou. On International Women's Day 2022, she posted Maya's poem, “Still I Rise” as a reminder that women must continue to rise, to be persistent and resilient. And as we rise we lift others!
I hope you too will “Rise” and help make this world a safer, more compassionate, more inclusive, more equitable and more supportive place where everyone belongs!
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.