Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day: Festa della Donna

March 8 is a day for us to look at our lives as women, a day of taking stock. Who am I, and what does my life as a woman mean? What does it mean to be a woman? Women all over the world are fighting for freedom, on March 8 as well as every other day. Women are trying to feed their families, they are putting their children to bed, they are collecting water from a communal pump. Women are working, hoping their children are doing okay. Women are trying to get along with their men, and trying to get along with each other.

Today I heard of a sad rift between two good women, women who are changing the world. I read that women had been shot in the Ivory Coast.I spoke with a woman today who is angry about her unnecessary c-section. I spoke with another woman who said "hasn't anything changed since the seventies?!"

What has changed for you over the years? How do you think your life is better or worse than your mother's or your grandmother's life? What do you know about your great, great grandmother's life?

I remember one March 8 like it was yesterday. I was in my favorite city, Rome. It was spring and I was expecting my third child. We went to the airport to meet some friends.Women were standing by the doors with bunches of mimosa flowers that they were giving to every woman who entered. One unsuspecting lady took a liking to my young sons, and she gave each of them a sprig as well. Well, of course the mimosa branches turned into swords, and the first International Women's Day battle was fought, on the shiny and slippery floor of the airport lobby.

We are small and fragile, like the blossom of a mimosa. Let us try to take care.

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