A very belated Happy International Women's Day to all the women who have in some way impacted and enriched my life or the lives of others! Of course that encompasses quite a number. Women like my mother and my daughter and all the other women I am fortunate enough to be related to by birth or marriage. Women like my Kiwi schoolfriend who helped me pluck my eyebrows and let me keep my makeup at her house (my mother was a little conservative about these things).Women like my friend from Norway who told me as I was agonising over something stupid I had said at a dinner party, "Fay most people don't even give you a second thought," which for some reason had never occurred to me, but was just so liberating. Women who told me not wear stripes with squares, and that I was too short to wear wide flares.Women who helped me parent my children. Nuns I met working with the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh and Muslim women I came across fighting poverty in their communities in Iraq. Women I was privileged to sit and have tea with in remote areas of the world, such as the Masai women in Tanzania and Bedouin women in Jordan. (Oops, this tribute is turning out to be longer than I expected, and I am really only getting started).
Women who laugh at my jokes. Women who protest the death penalty and female mutilation. Women who like rugby. Women who are brave enough to share their stories of rape, incest and sexual abuse so that others can also be brave enough to seek help. Women who take care of their grandchildren because their daughters or sons have died of HIV/Aids. Women who pray for a better world. Women who pray for me. Women who stand for womens' rights and run for public office. Women who go through divorce and disastrous relationships and come out the other side stronger yet more compassionate. Women who take the time to encourage me and read my blog even though they have much better things to do. Women who write great books and music. Women with good self esteem who encourage neurotic insecure women, and vice-versa. Women who let me know they love me when I need it the most. Women who work to protect the environment and campaign for world peace. Women who struggle with poverty or ill health. Women who have lost a child but keep going even though their hearts are broken. (Oh dear, there is so many more that I want to mention but I am running out of room and time, perhaps I need to broaden it somewhat). Women who stay at home and work and women who go out to work. Gay women and straight women. Old women and young women and middle aged women. Women like my sister-in-law, who took part the world's oldest flash mob in New Zealand recently (check out this link: Lifemark Flash Mob. She is the one in the blue!) Oh for crying out loud this is impossible! I should just stop now and wish a HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY TO ALL WOMEN!! It is better to be late than never!