Yesterday was International Women’s Day. Ally had just returned from an all day visit to UN Women at the United Nations with her Global Leadership class. UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. It’s a global champion for women and girls, established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. We got a full hour re-cap of her visit, and let me tell you it rocked her in her Frye boots. In just the last month, she’s gone from wanting to be a physical therapist, to joining the Peace Corps, and working in the field of human rights. This girl is astonished by the fact that in some cultures women have no voice (she would, by the way, last about five seconds in a culture like that), that they have babies as early as 10 years old, that they still die in childbirth, that they don’t have the opportunity for basic education.
She and I went shopping yesterday, and that’s sometimes when we have our best conversations. Listening to this ball of fire talk about what she had just learned wasn’t just exciting, it was damn powerful. And I was feeling grateful for the inspiring teacher who has captured her imagination. You’re so lucky if you get one teacher who teaches you something that reaches you in your deepest gut, and for her, this man is the one. I have already written one letter to the amazing Mr. Kahrl to thank him for his incredible teaching, but I am going to have to write another. This guy is doing it right.
Ally told me she believes in feminism, but that she thinks the word is wrong, she thinks it really should be called gender equality. And I agree with her. She told me that feminism isn’t just about the empowerment of women by women, but the empowerment of all people, by all people.
We have come a distance as women, but we have a distance more to go before there is equality for everybody in the world, especially those women who have no power, no say in matters, no choice even, in the care of their bodies. If Ally has anything to do with this issue, you can be damn sure the dial will move.