To my daughter,
Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the accomplishments of strong women everywhere and advocate for women’s equality across the globe.
Today is also your birthday, a day to celebrate you.
Over the past year, I’ve watched you curiously explore every corner of the house. I’ve watched you get right back up when you fall. I’ve watched you love unconditionally. I can see your fiery personality, your determination, and your tenacity. As your mom, more than ever, I want to make the world a better place for you.
This year, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate your day and International Women’s Day, than to share my hopes for you, for your future, and for girls everywhere:
Because worldwide 132 million girls are out of school . . .
I hope you never lose your curiosity. You’ll always find new things to explore, you’ll ask lots of questions, and you’ll take every opportunity to learn.
I hope the world becomes a safer place for women. I hope you never experience sexual harassment or assault.
I hope that if something should happen to you, you won’t be silenced. You won’t be blamed. You’ll be believed, you’ll be supported, and we’ll hold your perpetrator accountable.
I hope you earn as much as the man working beside you. When you find an opportunity you want, you go for it. You won’t be afraid to negotiate. You won’t doubt your worth.
I hope you’re never afraid to speak your mind. And when you do, your voice will be heard without dismissal. You’re smart, you’re valuable, and you’ll be treated with respect.
By the time you have a family of your own, I hope you don’t have to choose between earning a paycheck and bonding with your newborn baby. You and your partner will enjoy paid family leave, so you can take care of your children and each other.
As you juggle life—being a wife, mother, friend, employee, or entrepreneur—I hope you give yourself grace. Always remember that you have a lot to offer the world. You’ll go through seasons, but one role does not define you. I hope you never feel like you’re less than what you should be.
And because you’re my daughter . . .
I hope you dream big. And if your dreams change, I hope you have the courage to start again.
I hope you spread kindness. I hope you recognize the beauty in yourself and others. You are beautiful—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I hope that you know I’ll always love you; I’ll always support you and I’ll always fight for you.
To my fellow moms,
We can all take a few steps today to create a better world for ourselves and for our daughters. Here are a few simple suggestions to help support and advocate for women.
- Teach your children about International Women’s Day and women’s achievements. Here’s a great starting point from National Geographic Kids.
- Share how you’re promoting gender equality on social media with the hashtags #IWD2020 and #EachforEqual.
- Support women-owned businesses, like these: Women Entrepreneurs of Charleston.
- Demonstrate how you put in the extra sweat for gender equality by heading out to Mount Pleasant Towne Center at 10:30 a.m. for Sweat Under the Oaks: IWD Bootcamp + Yoga hosted by lululemon.
- Donate time or resources to charities that support women and girls. Here are a few local suggestions: