"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" - Maya Angelou, poet
The first female to become United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was quoted as saying at the 2006 Celebration Luncheon for the WNBA's All-Decade Team, "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." Building a worldwide support system for women and girls is crucial for further advancement. True, women in many countries have come a long way but disturbing facts remain. Globally, only 24 % of senior management roles are filled by women. Each year, an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked into slavery, 80% are young girls. In some countries the gender pay gap is 15% or higher. 70% of those living in poverty are women and children. So while we have every reason to celebrate our she-roes we must seriously examine why progress is being stalled or completely halted for so many. We must protect our human rights. When we empower ourselves we must find a way to empower others. (photo's above: First female, African-American astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison, Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman appointed to the U.S Supreme Court, Admiral Michelle J. Howard, first female four-star admiral in the history of the United States Navy.)
March has been designated "Women's History Month" and Sunday, March 8th is "International Women's Day." Many classrooms, college campuses and international organizations will honor and discuss the inspiring, courageous and often tragic timeline contributions of women in history. Let us also thank our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, mentors and all women who have loved and supported us on our journey. Please take a moment to remember all men and women who have fought and those who continue to fight for human rights, justice and human dignity every day, all over the world.