international women's day

Today is International Women's Day.  A day to focus on the respect, appreciation and love towards women and to celebrate women's economic, political and social achievements (according to Wiki).  

Over the weekend I went to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and at interval while sipping on Champagne and munching on a Pretzel we talked about how wonderful it was to be able to do this and how our lives were pretty great.  How lucky we were to be born into the right families, in the right countries, at the right time.  This seems even more pertinent today.  I was born into a family of strong women.  My grandmother's both travelled independently and worked.  They expected their daughters to be educated and their daughters (in-turn) expected their girls to also receive excellent educations, attend university and become independent and equal members of society.  I went to a school which regularly encouraged us (girls) to become "the first female prime-minister of Australia" (a feat not yet achieved).  I can vote.  I am financially independent.  When I was 21 I backpacked around Europe, mostly alone, without worrying about needing a chaperone.  If I have children I will probably deliver in a clean hospital ward with access to doctors, nurses and drugs.  

Most women in the world today don't, can't, won't have access to any of this.
  • 1 in 16 women in Africa die of complications of childbirth.  (If you're interested in seeing one side of the "why", this blog tells some great first-hand anecdotes)
  • Only 40% of women in India have basic literacy skills
  • In Saudi Arabia women still do not have the right to vote
  • 13% of white women (38% of Latinas) in the US do not have access to healthcare
So today I am thankful and hopeful.  I am thankful that I had the good fortune to be born in Australia in 1980, and not Africa or India in 2010.  I am thankful for the political, economic and social freedoms that I enjoy - thanks mostly to the hard work of my mother's and grandmother's generations.  And I am hopeful that our generation will chip away at the inequalities that still exist for millions of women living in developing countries today.

Barnett Family, 2009


Veronica said...

Rock on, Clare! Happy Women's Day!

Jess said...

I agree, its sad that women in those countries don't have the opportunites that we take for granted and its something that should change.
Secondly I would love to climb into that first picture how gorgeous!

handmade romance said...

what a gorgeous pic and beautiful family you have. i love this post. we are extremely lucky in comparison to so many and to think that some women still do not have the right to vote. it makes me sad when some that do dismiss their vote without any thought to what it took for us to have this right. but i guess thats a choice in a free nation... xx