Source: Canadian Council of Muslim Women/Conseil Canadien des Femmes Musulmanes
Today is March 8, a day to celebrate women all over the world, but what exactly are we celebrating? We agree that the aim of this day is to improve the lives of women and girls by achieving gender equality.
Can we wish each other Happy International Women’s Day when we see how conflicts, poverty and poor health are destroying the lives of girls and women? What can we do for women and girls who are still suffering under patriarchy and who are not given their human rights as equal beings?
Some of us are certainly blessed because we live in countries where there are deliberate efforts being made to improve our lives, but we cannot close our eyes to the tragic lives of our sisters in other countries. Along with work to be done in one’s own country we must support women like courageous Malala Yousafzai of Afghanistan who concludes that "Extremists have shown what frightens them most: a girl with a book".
Today in the House of Commons 338 young women took the seats to feel the power of democracy. It was powerful to hear an Innu girl, Lianna Rice speak of her pain and Srosh Hassana, a Muslim, who spoke of the effects of prejudice and discrimination on her life.
The Canadian Council of Muslim Women will celebrate 35 years of advocating for Canadian Muslim women and their families. We can take pride in what we have achieved but we are keenly aware of how much more needs to be done.
A wish on this day that every man will proudly proclaim his commitment to improve the lives of his mother, wife, daughter, sister and friends.
As Gloria Steinem said,"A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and hull humanity of women and men".