storytelling, Women's History Month

Celebrating Women’s History in Your Own Family

Top: Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jovita Idar, Maya Angelou
Middle: Gerda Lerner, Gloria Steinem, Winona La Duke, Lillian Hellman
Bottom: Betty Soskin, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Marjory Stoneman Douglas ​

This month, you’ll read several magazine covers, blogs, and social media posts highlighting WHM. The purpose is to increase awareness and recognize the achievements of women in all areas of life.

But Women’s History Month isn’t just about famous women.

We can all play a role in celebrating women’s history by making it personal.

What might we discover from the stories of our own mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers?

What did they experience or participate in? What stories do they have to tell?

My mother loves to tell stories. Just a couple of questions can lead her to talk about her experiences during WWII or her mother’s story of fleeing the Mexican Revolution. Yesterday she told me about standing up to a hiring foreman who wouldn’t comply with union rules. She was afraid to do so, but losing out on a job was more frightening than speaking up.

Imagine what your great-grandmother, grandmother, older aunts, or friends can share.

By learning about their lives and the challenges they faced, we can better understand our lives and the opportunities we have today.

We can share these stories with our children, helping them understand their own family history and their ancestors’ legacy. By recognizing the strength and accomplishments of women in our own families and other backgrounds, we can help build higher self-esteem among girls and greater respect among boys and men.

Sometime this month, sit down and share your own stories, your mother’s stories, or her mother’s stories. Their stories can reveal a wealth of information about the experiences of women throughout history.

By exploring these stories, we can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges women have faced, their sacrifices, and their progress. Plus, this is an opportunity to pull out photo albums and those boxes of pics in the closet or attic and tell the story behind the picture.

Let your family hear about their adversities, their values, and the triumphs of women who are important to them every day, not just one month out of the year. 

Each time a girl opens a book and reads womanless history, she learns she is worth less.

Myra Pollack Sadker

Tell me a story in the comments.

One Woman, Strong Women, UN International Women's Day, Violence Against Women Act, Women's History Month

International Women’s Day-Unity through Song

“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The quote illustrates the theme of International Women’s Day: Time for action, time to end violence against women.

 Yesterday President Obama signed The Violence Against Women Act. The expanded version of the Act is an important milestone in recognizing the rights of women, whomever they are, to be protected and guarded against domestic violence and sexual assault. This human rights violation affects up to seven women out of ten. The stats are higher in some countries.

Part of the UN campaign is to spread a message of solidarity and unity with others, through song and music. Here’s their inspiring song:
One Woman
Titled “One Woman,” the song is sung by 25 international artists who sing about the solidarity that exists among women and how through that solidarity women can overcome the violence that still threatens too many in this world.

One Woman
In Kigali, she wakes up,
She makes a choice,
In Hanoi, Natal, Ramallah.
In Tangier, she takes a breath,
Lifts up her voice,
In Lahore, La Paz, Kampala.
Though she’s half a world away
Something in me wants to say …
We are One Woman,
You cry and I hear you.
We are One Woman,
You hurt, and I hurt, too.
We are One Woman,
Your hopes are mine.
We shall shine.
In Juarez she speaks the truth,
She reaches out,
Then teaches others how to.
In Jaipur, she gives her name,
She lives without shame
In Manila, Salta, Embu.
Though we’re different as can be,
We’re connected, she with me
We are One Woman,
Your courage keeps me strong.
We are One Woman,
You sing, I sing along.
We are One Woman,
Your dreams are mine.
And we shall shine.
We shall shine.
And one man, he hears her voice.
And one man, he fights her fight.
Day by day, he lets go the old ways,
One Woman at a time.
Though she’s half a world away,
Something in me wants to say.
We are One Woman,
Your victories lift us all.
We are One Woman,
You rise and I stand tall.
We are One Woman,
Your world is mine
And we shall shine.
Shine, shine, shine.
We shall shine
Shine, shine, shine.
We shall shine.
Shine, shine, shine.
What else can you do? 
Join the conversation and follow @UN_Women and the hashtag #1woman on Twitter. 
You can also donate a tweet through Thunderclap, which will be released on 8 March. Click on the link, scroll to the photo like the orange one above and click. That’s it. You can download the song if you’d like too.
Take an interesting quiz here.  Every point you score counts towards the Say NO action counter. 

Share the song through your social media networks. Share your thoughts.