Friday, March 12, 2010

Int. Women's Day. A Day To Be Grateful!

This International Woman's Day 2010,
I am grateful
for all the doors that stood open in my path,
and
for all the women who struggled opened them.

Last Sunday, March 8, was International Women's Day. It went by quietly, as it usually does every year, but I thought it deserved some reflection.

I don't think I am a hard core feminist. But I believe it is important that women are given the same opportunities as men. Over the last hundred years, many tough women from my grandmother's generation, and my mother's generation have fought hard for the rights I afford today, many of which I take for granted, like a higher education and a career outside the home.

My grandmother's life was very different from mine. She finished six years of a compulsory education, and she never worked outside the home.

When she turned sixty-five she received her first social security check. She belonged to the first generation of Swedes who received a national pension check. This was a big day in her life. A sum of money was given directly to her, and it came from someone other than grandpa.

This was the first time grandma had ever had her own money. Grandpa, a man who didn't part easily with his earnings, had always supplied her with an allowance for household expenses. But as they lived on subsistence farming, this meant she was given a small sum to pay for salt, sugar and coffee, or whatever else they couldn't produce themselves. These were the old fashion days of the 1930ies and 40ies.

Two generations later, I afford independence and choices that my grandmother had never even dreamt about: an education, a paycheck, a bank account, a credit card, a car, and so much more.

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6 comments:

  1. Your grandma's story provides much-needed perspective. Sometimes it's easy to forget how recent it all is...Great post.

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  2. Wish I hadn't missed that day on Monday. It did take a long time for women to have freedom.
    ("stormie" from AW :) )

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  3. Stormie, it's always next year! Thank you.

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  4. I have never thought, not even for a moment that my life would have been better as a man. They make the most money, wield the most power, yet I think they miss out on personal relationships. Don't get me wrong, I like, even love some men, but there is something so inherently special about the friendships of women. I would not trade that for anything.

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  5. Susan, you're funny! I enjoy my life as a woman too.

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