In March 1911 more than one million women and men attended International Women’s Day rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
There was some irony in that I was so preoccupied and engaged in my work as a marketing exec managing a variety of high profile projects around Silicon Valley, and devoting my spare time to leading and responding to discussions about getting the upper hand in infertility challenges on the Ladies in Waiting Book Club site that I completely missed the 100th Anniversary of the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations on March 8.
Among the themes this year was Equal Access to Education, Training and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women. I’ve often said that I’m grateful to have been born in an era and in a place where women not only possessed the right to vote but have access to education and opportunity that allows us to exercise our full potential. How suffocating, intolerable, maddening it would be not to have room to grow.
And yet, in the Ladies in Waiting Book Club discussions there remains, for a subset of women, a pervasive sense of not measuring up — even in the progressive time in which we live. We may not be Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Susan B. Anthony, but there’s work to be done still in giving women a greater sense of purpose and validation in their lives and identities.
As one book club member, Dani, wrote:
Somewhere amidst [infertility] treatments I realized I was being sucked away because I didn’t know who I was without the “mom” title. I felt less of a person. I realized I need to be a full person first and foremost…
The focus on being a full person, regardless of our ability to procreate, is where all women can find common ground.