International Women’s Day: A Bridge of Solidarity

Building Community In The Spirit of Sisterhood

Mar 8, 2011 by

Women are the best index of the coming hour” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This year is a special year for women around the world as we celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day, now recognized as a global mainstream phenomena and celebrated as an official holiday in approximately 25 countries including Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia.

As a women’s health advocate, marketer and communicator, I’m thrilled to see the bridge as a metaphor used to rally women and men at a time when we American women have a great role to play in bridging to a better future for our daughters.  We also have a great opportunity to build solidarity with and among women all over the world.

Women in the US, for the most part, are a privileged community. Compared to women worldwide, the education and economic conditions of most women in the US far surpass countries like India, China and other developing nations and our health and wellbeing is generally better as a result.

Some of our celebratory highlights include the fact we women here in the US make up 50% of the work force, are starting businesses at twice the rate of men, and, notably, single women represent more of today’s home buyers than single men.  And, during the current economic recession, unemployment rates for women have been lower than for men.

On the other hand, there are glaring contradictions in our country, and particularly when you look at domestic violence among young women and access to health care for women, for example, women suffering from HIV/AIDS.  That’s why we must continue to build a bridge – a bridge to the better future our daughters and sisters are expecting from us.

For example, here in America, the rise in domestic violence against young women is complemented by new findings that some male partners are sabotaging women’s efforts to prevent pregnancy. At the same time, in developing countries, strong cultural norms still promote the practice of female genital mutilation. Around the world, young women are victims of sex trafficking and its horrific consequences.

That’s why IWD is very relevant for women in the US.

The bridge is also about SOLIDARITY and our ability to support women globally, far away from our own immediate needs – like the Egyptian women who have courageously participated in their country’s political uprising. And, who have forever change how the women in that country view their own power. It’s greater than “liberalism” as women lead the debate and seek a place at the new, and uncertain, political table.

In the spirit of the digital sisterhood and on International Women’s Day, let’s continue to build communities that allow us to share our unique voices and, at the same time, build a bridge of solidarity with our global sisters who are burdened with the struggle to find their voice.

About the Author

Kelley Connors Has Written 6 Articles For Us!

I’m a health care marketing consultant and social media strategist working virtually with partners on the east and west coast. Here’s my women’s blog, Real Women on Health! and my new marketing to women blog. I love to row crew with the Maritime Rowing Club in Norwalk, Connecticut and enjoy the friendship of a dozen ladies at the club who meet the early morning twice or three times a week.
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1 Comment

  1. Jane Genova

    The word “solidarity” is used a lot in connections with the gender discrimination class action lawsuit “Dukes v. Wal-Mart.” Interestingly, the American Asssociation of University Women is contributing funding to the suit, even though most of the plaintiffs are blue-collar women.

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