March 8th is the UN's International Women's Day, a day set aside to "reflect on progress made [in the struggle for equality], to call for change [where there is gender discrimination] and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities."
Their stories are not slogans or statistics; their stories are real, and the struggle of women all over the world to achieve equal rights with men is real.
But all this is beginning to change. This International Women's Day, the UN brings our attention back to the "Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic road map signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women's rights."
In our own small way, FH Canada helps move this agenda forward - one woman at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time. The value of gender equality is threaded throughout all FH programming, and we find that it is often the women who are most eager to join Savings and Loans Groups, start small businesses, take responsibility for family health and nutrition, and educate themselves. (You can find stories and videos celebrating their achievements in the Women & Girls section of our blog.)
Women and men, however, must work together toward the common goal of mutual success and communal thriving if we want to build a world where nothing is broken and no one is forgotten. For this fundamental reason, FH also provides marriage counseling, family counseling, and encourages men and women to treat each other with fairness and honesty in finances, in parenting, in politics - in everything.
After all, "The world will never realize 100% of it's potential if 50% of its people are held back." - Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General