It’s a day late – but that is sort of how reflections work and I was a bit busy yesterday taking pictures, laughing and dancing with some fabulous ladies in Tarime.
Women are strong – and I am so incredibly grateful to have many inspiring role models in my life. Women who are not afraid to be seen, take up space, or be heard. And while I can think of many beautiful, hardworking, compassionate Canadian women – I have been absolutely blown away by the strength of Zambian and Tanzanian women over the last few months.
Women who work long days to make sure that there is a place to go when girls are abused. Women who show up for each other despite a mountain of housework. Women who walk miles for water every day. Women who scrape together beautiful meals with only a few schillings and still invite the strangers for dinner. Women who close their shop to bring a neighbour water. Women who are the kindest and most generous people I have ever met.
Yes – these women are strong! They are strong because they have to be. They are strong because life is hard and giving up is NOT an option. They are strong because they want their sisters, daughters and grandchildren to live without the fear of being married off before their 14th birthday, cut without their consent, forced to drop out of school, told they won’t be anything – because they are girls.
All over the world, women and girls are fighting for their rights. They are challenging the status quo and making changes in the places they live and work. I’m glad we have a day so we remember to appreciate them – but what about showing our thankfulness every day?
Fight for gender parity!