© Wendy Marijnissen

Today is international Women’s day. For the 100th year in a row, all over the world women will celebrate this day and try to raise awareness to various aspects in their lives where they face discrimination, violence, lack of opportunity, …simply because they are women.

Making out over 50% of the world population and yet …are still not valued as equal in most parts of the world, including the West.

In the United States, President Barak Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month”, calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history. My own history starts with my mom. Sadly she died when I was 9 and I never got to know her in my adult life. But even so, she has had such a profound influence on me and shaped my life, making me the woman I am today.

© Family Marijnissen

Last year on International Women’s day, I was in Pakistan visiting village 109 and 108 in Punjab. I went to a school where  children were putting on a play to educate the village people about child marriages. It was amazing to see that even in this remote and rural society, women and girls were not afraid to come outside and stand up for their rights and opinions.

© Wendy Marijnissen



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