Thursday, March 6, 2008

International Women's Day

Women have made great strides over the past century to achieve equal rights, opportunities, and protections against maltreatment. I’m very grateful to the brave and brilliant women who have come before me who blazed that trail, making it possible for me to live the life that I do. On Saturday, International Women’s Day, I think we should all take a moment to appreciate those women – both the famous and the personal female role models in our lives – and perhaps make a commitment to take action on initiatives that will further our progress. It can be as simple as calling your aunt and thanking her for teaching you that women can be successful in the science professions or calling (301-443-1083), writing a letter (address below) to, or e-mailing Robert McSwain, Director of Indian Health Services, to demand quality health care for Native American and Alaska native women (1 in 3 is raped in her lifetime).

Sadly, it’s easy to take for granted all that has been achieved in the name of women’s rights, especially in the United States where things aren’t anywhere near as bad as they still are in many other regions of the world (e.g., dangerous, life-threatening female genital cutting is still practiced in the name of tradition in some regions of the world). We can’t forget that our fellow women come from all countries, all walks of life, and many of them do not yet enjoy the rights, opportunities, or protections against maltreatment that we do; and we can’t forget that, even though we may have made great strides in the United States, we still have obstacles to overcome here as well, like the “glass ceiling” in the workplace. In short, our work is not done, sisters!

IHS Address:

Indian Health Service (HQ)
The Reyes Building

801 Thompson Avenue, Ste. 400
Rockville, MD 20852-1627

Additional info on events and actions can be found via the following links:

Amnesty International’s Women’s Human Rights

National Organization for Women

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