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#IWD2023 Happy or not?

Happy International Women's Day! But is it happy? I'm not so sure. As we watch the world unravel before our eyes, I have to wonder if there is more we can do to "Embrace Equity" which is the theme for IWD this year. As I look to the future for gender equity globally, I feel a sadness in the air for our sisters in the middle east. I know there is heartbreak in many countries right now, but I'm feeling especially raw for the plight of women in the middle east - women I have come to know and love from my work with Orbis Canada and Orbis International. War, trauma, unimaginable oppression, earthquake devastation, poisoning - how can humans treat each other with such distain? Ever since I was a little girl, I have realized that I could have been born anywhere and that my country of origin and the colour of my skin have laid the groundwork for a life of immense opportunity that others, many others, may never know. But despite my sense of helplessness and inadequacy to shape the world we live in, I am certain that I can't give up trying. WE can't give up trying! As women rise, we all rise. When women form a collective, the conversation changes and the power dynamic shifts. As you push the boundaries in your own corner of the world, doors open for others you may never meet. As you call out implicit bias where and when you see it, women living miles away will eventually hear your voice. As you become the best version of yourself, you create space for others to stretch and grow. When you allow yourself to be seen and heard in a world that has, for generations, tried to keep you quiet, the thunder in your declaration will rumble across the globe. Things ARE changing. Maybe not fast enough, but they ARE changing. Today, as I elevate my friends from the middle east into your awareness, I ask for only one thing: **Keep up YOUR great work of embracing equity, reclaiming your power and living your one precious life to the absolute fullest and...

To all the incredible Doha, Qatar Orbis participants - we stand with you, we love you!


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