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Carolyn Cassin's picture

Today we here at the Michigan Women’s Foundation celebrate International Women’s Day, a day where women are recognized for their social, academic, political, and economic achievements.  While taking the time to reflect on the histories of global womanhood, today, of all days, is a day to look at present accomplishments and  forward to the future of the rights of all women around the world.

During this last century that International Women’s Day has been officially celebrated, women have carried the burden of many hardships. Domestically, women have fought for many rights and freedoms not fully afforded to us, including the right to vote, work, access, healthcare, and equal opportunities. Currently in America, Women make up half of the workforce, 1 in 4 businesses are owned by a woman, and women make 75% of the buying decisions in American homes.

While women have overcome many obstacles internationally and domestically,  the road to ultimate equality and freedom is long.  Today, in America, women only make 77 cents to a man’s dollar, and even less if that woman is a woman of color.  Today in America, women represent less than 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs.  Today, America ranks 37th in gender equality. Today in America, 300,000 children, mostly girls, are at risk of being sex trafficked.  Globally, the reality is not much better. Women face abuse, barriers to education, little to no access to health care,  are subjected to sexist social and economic laws, forcing them to live as second-class citizens, and face harsh, culturally obsolete and harmful practices such as female circumcision.

I write this not as a pessimistic outlook on the future of women, but rather to refresh the call to action of all women to continue the fight for world-wide equality.  American women are smart, tough, and proud, and our international sisters are equally so.  It is up to us to carry on the torch of justice, and I know that we will reach our goals together. Please honor International Women’s day by texting women to 50555 and donate $10*.  The Michigan Women’s Foundation will receive a portion of donated funds.  For more information please visit Calling All Women 2012!

*$10.00 donation to Ms. Foundation for Women. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms:> . Privacy Policy>

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