In March, MentorAction celebrates the strength and resiliency of women.
What makes a woman strong? Reflectively, I have pondered this question (among others) many times. Is it her ability to face adversity with grace, composure and a persistent willingness to pursue what she believes to be right and fair? Or maybe it is her ability to balance the demands of work and family? Sometimes I think it is her innate ability to collectively support other women, as they work towards gender equality and violence-free living. From Emily Murphy’s tireless efforts to challenge an old Canadian law that said, “women should not be counted as persons” to Malala Yousafzai’s fight for the right to education – history is full of glorious women who have shown tremendous strength.
There are many times, when I know I see strength in a woman — but, a different kind of strength. A strength that stands strong behind swollen eyes and tear-stained cheeks. A simmering strength that seems to give power to her tired arms, as she holds her children. Where some people may see weakness as she walks through the doors of the shelter seeking safety, I see strength. I see a woman who left her home, her possessions and her life behind — to start over. I see a strength parallel to no other – as she readies herself for new beginnings. When she tells me her story, I sometimes hear a quivering hesitation – but I don’t hear weakness…. I hear a woman piecing her life together.
Whether at the door of the shelter or at a ceremony receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, women have shown their strength and resiliency. Support women and join the Steel City Allies – together we can end gender-based violence.