For the Invisible Women

IMHO, Women’s Day should be Women’s Week. With such a diverse population, how can we possibly limit the gratitude and recognition into one day?

When I was growing up I never heard of Women’s Day … in March, yet? I only knew of Mother’s Day in May. (A day when we joined the blocks-long line-up to take my mom to the all-you-can-eat-for- 99 cents-buffet on the way home from church). I’ll admit, I didn’t give much thought to the women without children around who had to go home and cook their own lunches that day. 

It wasn’t until 2010 that the United Nations took up the cause and created themes to go with the annual event. This year's theme is #Embrace

English learners in Winnipeg

Equity. Before that, seems the day was a holiday celebrated mostly in communist countries. In fact, the first time I heard of it was from a Russian friend who was surprised at our low-key approach to the March celebration. 

This week, I honour the many immigrant women who are so often the energy behind a family move to a new country. They become invisible, behind the scenes, doing the grunt work, as their children flourish in the new environment. This is my shout-out to the women who do menial labour so their kids can prosper. To the women who become cut off from their old world and faced with many challenges here in the new one … with limited ability to improve their own lot as they ‘garden’ their offspring. (Okay, I’ll admit, it’s almost spring and gardening is on my mind).  

To the nameless, determined women who give so that others may prosper … I see you. Perhaps you have a face not unlike my own mother’s. Perhaps you are the stooped woman on the bus, hiding behind a hijab, or in a flowing sari, or wearing the mismatched, but colourful layers from the thrift shop. I celebrate your tenacity and your courage. 

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