International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights and violence against women.
It is important to emphasize international because so much work is needed globally to help women have equal rights in important things such as educational attainment, financial participation, legal protection against rape and female mutilation, voting rights and the right to hold a political office, freedom of whom to marry and to divorce and reproduction rights.
On a national level, I personally thank the one woman who made the biggest impact on my life. My mother, Judith Blanton Wilkerson. I loved everything she stood for in her life. She taught me so much by the example she led with her life. She fought for things that did not make her popular. She may have not been liked for some things she fought for, but she did it without making enemies. She fought fairly and with grace.
I wrote this about my mom when she left this earth:
My mom met you as you were. She had a way of making you feel “enough” in her presence. There was no need to be more than what your best for that day happened to be. She knew your best was going to change from moment to moment. She encouraged cutting out nonsense from your life to get to your best self. She forgave, and she forgot, and she was unequivocally fair. She was generous beyond belief. She showed appreciation and deep joy at the smallest gestures. She was fairly immune to the opinions of others as far as it concerned her. She was brave enough to stand her ground and be disliked for doing so.
All these qualities in my mom, I choose when I pick friends and co-workers. I love people who look for the good and fight for it too. I steer clear of folks who like to point out the fault of the “other team.” What a waste of time.
Locally, each year the Pleasanton Express designs a house ad that salutes local woman business owners. (See page 4A). It makes me so proud to see so many womenowned businesses. In our ad we also give a shoutout to women caretakers and moms because what would the world be without you. No matter what you choose to do – stay home and take care of children and the household, commute to be the CEO of a large firm in San Antonio, run a small business from home or own a brick and mortar, I salute you and I support you.
To my sister and close girlfriends/women friends, I love you so. Thank you for making my life more fun, brighter and richer because you are in it. Mostly, thank you for loving me as I am. This alone makes me strive to be better and grow.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at email@example.com.