We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For … A posting for March 8th, International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day began in the early 1900’s.

Today is International Women’s Day, IWD, an official holiday in Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China ( for women only ), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar ( for women only ), Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia.

Notice the United States and the United Kingdom countries are not on the list. Neither are the often enlightened Scandinavian and other European countries. Nor Latin and South America. Nor Africa. 

Unbelievable. It is 2021 after all. Not the Dark Ages. 


You may ask why I am writing about gender equity? 

For the good of all of us. You and me.

COVID has increased unfairness to and damaged the lives of women of all ages, all around the world.

  • Women account for 70 per cent of frontline workers, yet women are left out of many COVID-19 response and recovery plans, according to the World Economic Forum, 8 February, 2021 survey.
  • Just 20 percent of the WHO emergency committee are women. And there is other ongoing damage exacerbated by COVID 19:
  • Domestic violence is rising
  • Women are taking on more duties at home, again

47 million women worldwide fall into extreme poverty – living on less than $2 a day – in 2021 they are over-represented in hard-hit sectors, such as domestic and restaurant workers, per the UN. All this has been made worse by our global epidemic. 

How have the women in your life been affected by COVID?

How have the women in your life been affected by gender inequity?

What will be the consequences for  your children and grandchildren?

Women make up fewer than 10 percent of national leaders worldwide.  Behind this eye-opening statistic lies a pattern of unequal access to power.

Being elected and staying elected to leadership positions is paramount for positive change to occur in the lives of all citizens, for the good of all.

Women promote equal access and distribution of resources and better health care to all – medical, dental and mental. Women must design and conduct research to insure that research will be with women as subjects by women physicians, public health doctors,  and epidemiologists. 

Do you know that most research of disease has been done exclusively on men? 

Do you know that most research on other mammals, say mice for example, is done on male mice?

It is undeniable that the female body is different from the male body, functions differently, recovers differently, not just in regard to our reproductive health but we differ in other body systems as well.

So to learn more about gender bias and why there are not more women in leadership roles, I will be reading from my copy of Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons,  published in 2020, by Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela, Nigeria’s two term Minister of Finance.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela is now head of the World Trade Organization.

Other contributors are: Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister to three terms in New Zealand and still Prime Minister, who gave birth while governing, Thersa May, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Bachlet, Joyce Banda, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Erna Solberg and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The GOOD NEWS is the vast majority of men and women around the world expect their leaders to take action to advance gender equality.

In closing, I offer a poem written in commemoration of the 40,000 women and children who, in 1956, marched to protest South Africa’s racist Pass Laws and presented at the United Nations, August 7th, 1978
A Poem by June Jordan ( 1938 – 2002 )

Poem for South African Women

Our own shadows disappear as the feet of thousands
by the tens of thousands pound the fallow land
into new dust that
rising like a marvelous pollen will be
even as the first women whispering
imagination to the trees around her made
for righteous fruit
from such deliberate defense of life
as no other still
will claim inferior to any other safety
in the world

The whispers too they
intimate to the inmost ear of every spirit
now aroused they
carousing in ferocious affirmation
of all peaceable and loving amplitude
sound a certainly unbounded heat
from a baptisimal smoke where yes
there will be a fire

And babies cease alarm as mothers
raising arms
and heart high as the stars so far unseen
nevertheless hurl into the universe
a moving force
irreversible as light years
traveling to the open

And who will join this standing up
and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing
back into the mountains and
if necessary
even under the sea

We are the ones we have been waiting for

Let us all be the “Sweet Company ” 
Thank you kindly.

This poem can be found in “ We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner LIght in A TIme of Darkness ”  by Pulitzer Prize author and human rights activist, Alice Walker, 2006.