Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wonder Women!

I learned that today is International Women's Day (thanks Google). Apparently working women in Europe have marked this date since the early 1900s  "to highlight their solidarity in the fight for equal, economical and political rights with men." Other areas of the world have followed suit, and it is now an officially recognized holiday in several countries. In light of the recent public debate over reproductive rights, it seems high time we recognized the day here in the U.S. as well.

Peace! Photo by Jeremy Clowe.
All rights! reserved.
I have been fortunate to know several very inspiring women during my life, and hold great admiration for the work and sacrifices they have made to help me and others (this means YOU Mom, Grandma, etc.). One woman I have grown to admire in recent years is my soon to be mother-in-law, Elaine. Not only has she raised a beautiful family, but she is one of the most active people I know, involved with many different community organizations. She is often the first person I hear to announce important meetings or initiatives, and I have had the pleasure to learn from many of volunteer programs she has been involved with.

Sarah and I have actually become members of one of these groups, Peace Action New York State (thanks to Elaine's sponsorship). I have found myself attending interesting lectures on political, social and environmental topics; I have marched on the Washington Monument to protest the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; I have dressed as Uncle Sam (seriously) to call attention to abuses of the former administration; and I have even utilized my video production skills to document important discussions on such topics as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In the spring of 2010 we all took part in a nuclear non-proliferation conference at the famed Riverside Church in New York City. What a great privilege to document and take part in that program, which culminated in a march on the United Nations building. Elaine was active as ever that weekend, and I even persuaded her to interview a couple of the speakers, who had interesting insight into the continuing harmful effects from nuclear energy:

As long as there is a right to fight for, I'm pretty confident that Elaine will be there, offering a rational and peaceful voice to the discussion (or bringing up the discussion in the first place!). So on this International Women's Day, I salute MOM/E... and no, I'm not just trying to suck up here! The world is a better place for women who care as much as she does.

Peace Action New York website:

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