Eva, our family’s Au Pair from Czech Republic, commented to me on March 8 about the lack of care and attention paid to women in the United States on International Women’s Day. Eva’s experience in Europe was a day for women to be cherished for their contributions to life, motherhood, and society. It’s a day when men hand out small yellow flowers on the street to women, just because.
Part of our experience hosting an Au Pair is this cultural exchange; learning about traditions, language, and food from Czech has been fascinating. This cultural difference had me interested. So, I set about doing some research.
International Women’s Day began in 1909 as a response to women’s horrific working conditions. It has become a recognized holiday in more than 25 countries since its inception and stands to not only appreciate women, but advocate for equality. “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says Gloria Steinem. International Women’s Day celebrates unity and advocates for action.
The 2017 theme of #BeBoldForChange made me think that this is a celebration beyond yellow flowers, it’s an opportunity to unite and make our voices heard for those who don’t have their own voice.
Through the lens of JCAST Chicago, being bold for change means standing up for the people who are lured into sex trafficking as young teens or standing up to our neighbors who are purchasing sex from those teens. To me, being bold for change is ending the demand for paid sex, one group at a time.
What does being bold for change mean for you? As you reflect on the women’s issues that make you want to be bold, I hope that you find your voice and an outlet for making change.
~ Jacqueline Babb, JCAST Chicago