As a relentless and energetic optimist, I manage at times, to believe that the position of women globally is improving.
That the world has seen the light and equity for women has become a priority.
That the world has finally understood the importance of equality between women and men, not only because it is just, but because it will lead to a sustainable and healthy future for the world.
I draw inspiration and hope from the progression I see around the world. With Iceland outlawing the gender pay gap, global movements such as #SheDecides, Women Deliver and #MeToo, the Lancet Women issue and of course this year’s International Day of the Midwife theme “Midwives: defenders of women’s rights”.
The inspiration and hope I get from these movements makes me optimistic and helps me to keep going. And that is my main message to you, KEEP GOING!
Because if we look at the big picture, there is still a lot to be done. We need to get real. A global political shift towards macho populism is actually endangering the position of women. It is not only in South American countries that the rights of women over their own bodies are being systematically destroyed. In a recent article in the Guardian, over 30 women leaders, including current and former heads of state, warn us of the erosion of women’s rights.
As midwives, we are mainly women who stand next to women at a transformative time in their lives. We do not only have a choice to stand up for our rights, but we also have the duty. Because the future lies in our hands. We must unite and fight for equality!
Happy International Women’s Day!