Celebrated March 8 each year, International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honoring the achievements of women throughout history across the globe. Throughout history, women have collaborated to counter inequality in all facets of life to provide a more inclusive future for the next generation. In the early 1900s, the Suffragettes created purposeful action for equality, coining the first officially named “International Women’s Day” event held in 1911. Some of the heroes are celebrated for bold actions and heroic actions. Others have inspired all of us through more subtle challenges to societal norms.

The collective efforts of every woman dedicated to equality have given life to this united movement. 

Core Values for a Movement

The ten values that serve as the founding ideas for International Women’s Day provide clear guidance for our daily actions, both professionally and personally.

  • JUSTICE – While the concept of justice may differ across cultures, the call for justice across the world continues for women seeking equal treatment, conditions, and opportunities.
  • DIGNITY – Dignity ensures that all people are valued, respected, and receive ethical treatment. 
  • HOPE – Suffragettes campaigned tirelessly with the hope of a better future for women.
  • EQUALITY – Equality ensures that all people have equal opportunities to make the most of their lives and their talents.
  • COLLABORATION – Understanding the great power that exists in unity we encourage collaboration globally, not only to celebrate achievements but to continue the call for action.
  • TENACITY – “Deeds not words” was the Suffragettes’ motto and we continue this movement without pause.
  • APPRECIATION – By celebrating individual successes, the world at large becomes more aware of the impactful role women have played, and continue to play, in society.
  • RESPECT – Equality can only be achieved if the diversity and individual qualities of women are truly respected. 
  • EMPATHY – It’s only through acknowledgment and understanding of the varied situations and perspectives, challenges faced, obstacles endured, and changes desired, that we can create a more inclusive and progressive world.
  • FORGIVENESS – Focusing our attention and effort on the path forward, rather than the past, we can decisively create positive change.

The Difference Strong Women Make in our Lives

Here at RLP, we celebrate the women who have modeled the characteristics we admire through their character, noble convictions, and commitment to doing the right thing.

Without the strong influences provided by these inspiring women in our lives, we may not have fully grasped the future that we deserved and were supported to achieve. 

From Rebecca

Reflecting on this International Women’s Day, one of the women I most admire is my Mom, Dr. Mary Lou Palmer. While she has passed on, she lives on forever as my inspiration. Also, while raising four kids, she still committed to achieving her Ph.D. I can vividly remember attending her graduation as a child, not knowing what a monumental moment this truly was. As a minister’s wife, she was always “in public” – a glass house she never shied away from.

When most moms had their assigned day to lead the Girl Scouts they would make cookies and art projects. Really lovely and fun. However, my mom’s approach was to take us to her office to help staple things and arrange papers. All special, but different. And hopefully, an activity that opened many young girls’ eyes as to the opportunities that existed for them in the world. I will forever admire and miss my Mom.

From Cathleen and Cynthia

On this International Women’s Day, we would like to honor our late grandmother, Helen Liu, who was such an impactful woman in our lives. Our grandmother taught us the importance of so many wonderful virtues that she practiced throughout her entire life, including kindness, generosity, and the ability to face any challenge in life with positivity.

She was always willing to help others whether they be family, friends, or even strangers. No matter what she faced, she did it with a smile and moved forward with optimism. Although she is no longer here on Earth, her legacy continues to make us better people each day by pushing us to continually strive to become more like her. This gift that she provided to us will last our entire lives.

From Marianna 

My mother, Laura Otero-Hernandez, has been an important role-model in my life. Growing up in Puerto Rico, she moved with her family to New York City during her high school years. While attending college, she met and married my Colombian father. After I was born, she went to graduate school to obtain her Master’s in Social Work. She never missed a beat, keeping up with work, family, and school. I remember attending her graduation, not realizing what an amazing accomplishment this was!

My mom took her newly earned master’s degree and put her HEART to work. Working as a social worker in one of the toughest public school systems in the Bronx, she and her peers initiated the development of after-school and summer camp programs for neighborhood kids. While growing up in NYC, I attended a private school but was fortunate to attend these camps. It was inspiring to watch my mom help to enrich our Bronx neighborhood first-hand. With a genuine heart-of-gold, she takes in those who are in need while showing them how to get back on to their feet. Her work ethic, dedication, and giving spirit continue to inspire me each day. Thanks to you, MOM, for being such a great role-model. 

#ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021