Friday, March 8th was International Women’s Day, and across the world, stories of female empowerment were shared along with poignant calls for equality and justice. The importance of supporting women around the world was highlighted as the key to progress, development and the way forward (check out our very own Isaac Bird’s blog here: http://campaignforeducationusa.org/blog/detail/5-reasons-why-education-empowers-women-and-girls).
In today’s world, storytelling is the key to how we understand ourselves and those around us. Through photos and diverse narratives, we gain a better understanding of other people’s lived experiences and how we can position ourselves in the world. My favorite article from this year’s International Women’s Day is actually not an article, but a compilation of photographs. “What I See” offers us a glimpse of the world as seen through others’ eyes. Nine documentary and portrait photographers were asked to share an image that captures the essence of the word forward as it relates to women around the world.
The striking photographs highlight the many different experiences women and girls face globally. It is through these stories that we continue to learn and imagine the way forward.
Although I am certainly not a photographer, I have also chosen to share a photo from one of my recent school visits, that relates to the word forward.
I spent some time in a classroom where I was struck by this young girl's focus, intention and enthusiasm for what she was learning. With a female teacher encouraging her and being a good role model, her trajectory is changing. Against the many odds, this girl is in school, she is learning, she is supported and she has a brighter future.
International Women's day is a good reminder to listen to all the stories around us to make sure we do everything we can to support women and girls around the world. Audre Lorde's words strongly resonate with me: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
By continuing to support women and girls in rural Zambia through education, we know that their stories are changing and their way forward is full of opportunity.
Onwards and upwards!
Thank you, Felicia!