What does being an International Woman mean to you?

International Women’s Day honors women’s achievements, recognizes challenges, focuses attention on women’s rights and gender equality globally.  It’s a day that brings to light the struggles and successes of women.  As Armenian women, we have much to be proud of.  The strength and stamina of Armenian families, particularly Armenian females is inspiring.  100 years ago the Armenian race was almost eradicated.  It is because of the resilience, strength and stamina of the Armenian families who endured that we are here today. Deepest thanks to the Armenian women who built and rebuilt homes for their families with core values of faith, family, culture, love, wisdom and intellect.

We asked our AIWA-SF members and supporters: WHAT DOES BEING AN INTERNATIONAL WOMAN MEAN TO YOU? Here is what they had to say:

“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change 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” ~ Armenia, 1955

“Recognize women who have fought for independence and stood up for justice, equality and peace. Acknowledge women who have tilled the soil and brought food to the markets and our tables. Praise women who have educated the children of nations without thinking of themselves alone. Look up to women who have courageously lead and empowered others to create and build a sane, soulful culture beyond today. These are women who did not relegate their abilities to simply secure a better life for themselves, but put the vision of a better world above their own personal journeys, and in doing so secured a better life for millions. Together, side by side, shoulder to shoulder on the front-line of borders and within the boundaries of our homes, empowering women, empowering humanity.” ~ Kuwait, 1955
“Today is about recognizing and celebrating women’s contributions in shaping, restructuring, raising and empowering societies. This holiday is heartwarming and emotional because it includes everyone globally. Growing up, “Women’s Day,” was big deal. I think it is very important that we take the time to celebrate the many achievements of women while calling for change to improve opportunities for females.” ~ Armenia, 1947 “It means you can speak different languages, so you can make more friends because you can talk to more people.” ~ California,  2010

“Being an international woman is having more insight into cultures, languages and people of all social economical backgrounds and nationalities.  International women bring empathy and leadership to the world in today’s technologically connected and economically divided countries and societies” ~ Armenia, 1962

“To me a woman not only has to try to make it in her career in those difficult times to help her family, but at the same time not to forget that she is a woman, care for her home and make time to enjoy her children and partner. It is hard to do all that but we should keep in mind that being pampered as a woman is a true pleasure, so let men be men and women.” ~ Iran, 1950
“Being an international woman means having the opportunity to be a bridge-builder between cultures, perspectives and generations.  It allows me to appreciate and cherish the two worlds I come from that are (in my case) separated by oceans, but which are both still valuable and important to me.  Being an international woman helps me understand the norms and expectations of both worlds and affords me the chance to bring people from each of those different places together – to meet and interact in harmony, to understand each other despite their differences, and to help generations from each side bond – even if they speak different languages. Having experiences and memories from both the Middle-East and North America, I can relate to both worlds and it makes me happy to be the “uniter” of people and strengthener of relationships whenever I have the chance.” ~ Beirut, Lebanon, 1963
“I have lived in 3 countries, I speak 4 languages fluently.  I have seen war, I have escaped war. Every day I give thanks that I am able to life in God’s Glory.  I have seen much pain and triumph in my life and this day brings together the collective story of the female spirit globally.  Women take on tremendous responsibility for their families and are dedicated to faith, family and growth through patience and love.” ~ Greece, 1923

“For me, being an international woman means feeling great pride and affection, as well as contributing personal and direct involvement, in my own community & country I call home (the United States), while simultaneously treasuring a deep respect for  my heritage (Armenian).” ~ Fresno, CA

“Being an international woman to me, means being born to Armenian parents from very different sides of the world.  My mom was born and raised in Mexico City, and my dad in Beirut, Lebanon. Despite completely opposite upbringings, they raised us with a healthy blend of Armenian culture, language, traditions and religion. I am forever indebted to them for that.” ~ San Francisco, 1980
Being a woman is interesting, empowering, fun and even disheartening at times. We need to work harder, smarter and be stronger than men for the same recognition, jobs and accolades. Although, I have to say, I do love being a woman! We really can have it all. We’re good at doing it all and all at the same time!” ~ San Francisco, 1983

To learn more about AIWA, please visit www.aiwainternational.org. To get involved with the AIWA SF affiliate, please visit www.aiwasanfrancisco.com or send an email toaiwasanfrancisco@gmail.com.

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One thought on “What does being an International Woman mean to you?

  1. Pingback: Blossoming into Spring – Reflections on what children have taught me | aiwasanfrancisco

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