I have said before that commemorative days like International Women’s Day almost always creep up on me, as does the #OTD hashtag — On This Day — a historical birthday celebration of sorts marking something important that happened “on this day.” I really do have to make a special iOS calendar for such dates (starting now) so I can be more deliberate about my own teaching, learning and writing in the years to come. But no, for all my complaining I have yet to do so. So indeed, my musings on International Women’s Day are a day late.
Today, a few celebratory insights from places around the globe and issues dear to my heart that for one reason or another, resonate with me today.
Despite many years living in the SF Bay Area and raising a preteen who considers herself a seriously real Californian, I remain at heart a native New Yorker. This, from the great borough of Queens, where a nonprofit working with Nepalese women held a special event:
Shrestha, 50, was among about 300 participants at the event that was organized by Adhikaar, a nonprofit organization working with New York’s Nepalese community. She has lived in Queens for more than two years with her husband and daughter, and while International Women’s Day was new to her, she did conclude that “I know women’s day is good.”
By contrast, another Nepalese woman, Laxmi Shrestha, 40, was very knowledgable and very excited about the event.
“I come to this event every year,” said Laxmi (no relation to Kanchi Maya), a banker at Chase Manhattan Bank for 11 years. Coincidentally, like Kanchi Maya, she is also a resident of Elmhurst. She was very supportive of the event’s promotion of women’s independence. “If you want to achieve something in life, then you have to be independent,” said Shrestha. “If you want to do something, you can definitely do it. If everyone can do it, then why not women?”
A central part of the event included a panel discussion on the subject of domestic violence and undocumented women.
As a wannabe-archivist when I grow up, this most certainly caught my attention:
You can go straight to the blog link here, which not only gives us an excellent portrayal of Trudy Peterson, but gives great insight into the history of archives-as-profession at the time. The emphasis is mine:
She became Acting Assistant Archivist (1985–1987), Assistant Archivist for the National Archives (1987–1993), and eventually Acting Archivist of the United States (1993–1995).
Peterson began her tenure as Acting Archivist during a difficult time at the Archives, when the agency had been accused of mismanagement and neglecting records, and was under governmental investigation. Just three months into her tenure, the agency lost a ruling for “failing to preserve and protect computer tapes made during the Reagan and Bush administrations.”
Peterson made several efforts to address these concerns. Throughout her tenure, Peterson led her office in implementing a strategic management plan that addressed various agency objectives, such as revising Federal records declassification policy and planning for space needs. She helped the agency to reorganize and streamline its workforce, and to better tailor its services to all those who visit and use Archives resources, such as historians and genealogists.
Being the political geek I am, I couldn’t help taking note of CNN’s International Women’s Day: A Look Back at Female Firsts in Politics. Not surprising given the nature of the outlet, the images are really quite good. And I always appreciate the chance to take a moment and reflect on the lives of women I really should learn more about: in this case for me, Janet Rankin — the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Victoria Claflin Woodhull — the first woman to run for President on a nationally recognized ticket. Time to go to the library and search biographies…
When I began to play Irish flute a few years ago, I had no idea I would (slowly) become obsessed with all-things-Irish. If you have any interest in Irish history you will want to follow @ireland2016 on Twitter, the account for the official national commemorative initiative in honor of the 1916 Uprising:
When they seized the General Post Office in Dublin on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, the leaders of the Rising proclaimed a free Irish Republic in which the egalitarian idea was centrally enshrined. The Proclamation, which was first read out by Patrick Pearse on the steps of the GPO just after noon, declared the rights of the people of Ireland to be sovereign. It looked forward to the establishment of a native Government elected on the democratic principles of self-determination and government by consent. The 1916 Rising set in train an unstoppable process which led to the separation of Ireland from Great Britain.
Yesterday, around 500 invited guests and members of the public attended an event in Dublin marking International Women’s Day, as President Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to the women involved in the 1916 Rising. Take a listen — it’s a remarkable tribute to justice and equality within a larger historical context that is getting a lot of attention this month.
Berta Cáceres, an indigenous Lenca woman who won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for her fearless work to defend the Gualcarque River, its surrounding environment and people from the Agua Zarca Dam, was killed by gunmen last night in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras.
“On behalf of my siblings Doug Goldman and Susie Gelman, Prize jury, and staff, I’d like to express my deepest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues at COPINH and around the world,” said John Goldman, President of the Goldman Environmental Foundation. “She was a fearless environmental hero. She understood the risks that came with her work, but continued to lead her community with amazing strength and conviction.”
El Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH) known in English as the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras is a social and political organization supporting the indigenous and popular movements of Honduras. You can read more about Berta Cáceres here, and her work in opposition to the “Agua Zarca Dam… slated for construction on the sacred Gualcarque River, was pushed through without consulting the indigenous Lenca people—a violation of international treaties governing indigenous peoples’ rights. The dam would cut off the supply of water, food and medicine for hundreds of Lenca people and violate their right to sustainably manage and live off their land.”
In honor of all the women in Latin America and beyond, who fight for their rights, the rights of their families and communities, their rights as citizens of their great nations — may the murder(s) be found and brought to justice.
And may we all take a moment — albeit a day late — to think about the people, things, activities, interests and places dear to our hearts — and reflect on how they played a part in honoring #InternationalWomensDay.