One of the many guises in which poetry presents itself: Here American actress Alfrie Woodard delivers New Yorker Sojourner Truth‘s spontaneous speech, Ain’t I a Woman. Sojourner gave this speech at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio in May of 1851. Aint I a Woman is posted here today in honor of Black History Month and International Women’s Day. The theme for the later this year is gender parity.
SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-1883)
African-American Abolitionist and Women’s Right Activist
“IWD 2016 campaign theme #PledgeForParity
Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement.
“And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places.
“The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.
“So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity!
“Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.
“Commit to take action to accelerate gender parity
Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over. We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?” LINK HERE TO IWD to learn more and to consider signing the pledge, which is not for women only.
Thanks to Juli (Juxtaposed) for reminding us of IWD and Sojourner.
Editor’s Note: Life happens and I apologize for bringing this post of Paula’s to you so late after the day it honors. Nonetheless, the message of kindness must always be delivered; and, I think her message is valid and beautifully delivered. I thought it important that we share it with you here. Jamie Dedes
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women‘. I suggest we stretch that promise and for one day we end the violence against female animals too.
See, it is known that mostly female animals suffer because of our meat industry. Cows, hens, goats, and sheep have to produce a crazy amount of meat (off spring), milk, and eggs. Dairy cows have a natural lifespan of 20 years, however their factory farmed lifespan is only 5-6 years. Sheep have a natural lifespan of 12 years, but the factory farmed lifespan for lambs is only 3 months. Apart from that, we use drugs to squeeze in 3 lambkins every two years. Hens have a natural lifespan of 7 years, but live much, much shorter due to the poultry-industry.
So, if you want to participate low profile, in International Women’s day, this day could be your (first) vegan day. If we all do that, it will help to reduce suffering, even if it is only for one day.
As a vegan myself, I can assure you that eating vegan is wonderful. Just leave out all animal products and there you are. Your food is animal – especially female-animal – friendly and as a bonus it is good for your health, weight, and karma.
PAULA KUITENBROUWER is a Dutch nature artist living The Netherlands and sharing her work with us on her blog, Mindful Drawing, and on her website. You can purchase her art HERE. In addition to art, Paula’s main interest is philosophy. She studied at the University of Utrecht and Amsterdam. She has lived in Eastern Europe and in Asia. Paula says that in Korea, “my family lived next to a Buddhist temple. In the early morning we would hear the monks chanting. During my hours of sauntering with my daughter through the beautiful temple gardens, I felt a blissful happiness that I try to capture in my drawings.” Paula sometimes teaches children’s art classes. She lives with her husband and daughter and close to her father. We are frequently honored with and most grateful for guest posts from Paula.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY is on March 8. If you are searching for blogging themes this month (festivities are month-long and not restricted to the one day), you’ve got them here. This global event creates space to celebrate economic, political, and social contributions of women. Governments, organizations, charities, and women’s groups choose themes that reflect gender issues, which may have a global or a local focus. No reason why you can’t choose a theme for a post or poem that relates to issues most significant to you. Or, you can stick with a theme that is the focus in your community. You’ll find the themes listed in the blog roll HERE along with lists of events in your area. Some of the themes being explored this year are:
Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty (United Nations)
Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures (International Women’s Day 2012 Website)
Equal pay for work of equal value (European Parliament)