CHEERS TO ALL!! Let us celebrate. Our grandmothers were not able to decide anything in their lives. They were invisible. But for us to be as visible as we are today, a lot of suffering, a lot of work, needed to be done. I am thankful to all the women who up to now have devoted some time and effort in their lives, a little or a lot, it doesn't matter, to make the efforts, do the work and meet the challenges necessary to take us women to where we are now.And first of all I wish to thank GOD, for giving me the chance to have this unique opportunity to share these thoughts with you, my dear and beloved sisters all over the world. May He bless you today and always, so that you become as happy, much loved, prosperous and marvelous human beings as your hearts and souls may desire.

Jacqueline Patiño - jap21dos@yahoo.com - Cel. 591 - 77176780

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Jacqueline,

I would like to echo your sentiments and, on International Women's Day, celebrate the achievements of women all over the world who have overcome many barriers and worked in varying capacities to make life better for themselves and the women they cherish.

That an official day may be internationally devoted to these successes is a triumph in and of itself, as there was a time in recent history when women were rarely seen on a public platform let alone heard. My, have we come a long way!

And while we should rejoice, we should also use this day to contemplate where we are going and what we would like to achieve, both individually and collectively, over the next year. If we look at the short-term picture, in addition to the long-term panorama, we will find that our work is far from over.

That women in this day and age still earn less than men for doing the exact same job; that women are still abused, tortured, and raped; that women are still considered second-class citizens in many regions of the world -- it's undeniable and...unacceptable!

So, today, let us honour all women, past and present, who have taken us this far, and, in the next year, let us honour these women by continuing the crusade.

With admiration,

Jackie

Thanks for your comments. I agree in all aspects. And I would like to add that women around the world need to be conscious of the importance of taking three kinds of actions:

1.- Direct action, in cases of life threatenning situations and what I call 'psychological genocyde', as in gir's castration and girl's home lock up, for example, through marches in the streets and hunger strikes by women organizations.

2.- Indirect action, like the one we are taking here, making forums and sharing our thoughts and ideas with women around the world (God bless our friends who founded Pulsewire, such a wonderful initiative), which should try to be replicated at local levels too, not only through internet, but through other mass media also.

3.- And last, but not least, and maybe the most important, STUDYING. Women of the world, we need to STUDY our ways of life, we need to put better and more accurate numbers to our situation so that men and the society in general cannot argue against our actions anymore. For example, all countries have institutions that carry out statistical studies, and they have the number of loans given out by banks every year, but they do not know how many loans have been given to women, and if they are single parents, or their education level, for instance, making it very hard for investors to focus on the real needs of women, and the aid they need to achieve equal opportunity financial treatment.

Thanks Jackie.

Warm Regards,

Jacqueline (my friends also call me Jackie! so we share a name jajajaja)

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

We have come a long way true. But how many of us fall under this ambiguous category of 'long way'? How "long" is this "way"? Of course, some of us are much better off than our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers. At the same time we cannot and should not forget that the number of hungry women, women suffering from HIV+, battered women, raped women, trafficked girls and women, has increased several times over and we are not really able to solve the problems of these women mainly because we live in world that is more unequal, cruel, unjust and unfair to its women than it was during the time of our mothers and grandmothers.

Patriarchy is very much present. But it is now wrapped in guises we cannot easily recognise as masks. The working woman has a pay-check she can call her own. But once she begins to work, she is trapped in that job whether she likes it or not and cannot switch over to a vocation of her liking even if she wants to because the family falls back on her pay-check. The number of single-mother families has increased, doubling the woman's burden.

So, 'progress', if we can call it that, comes with a price-tag attached.The best thing that has happened to women is that we have learnt to recognise our worth in the world we live in and have also learnt to demand respect and dignity not because of what we may or may not have achieved, but just because we are what we are - women.

Cheers!

ShomaChatterjee

Dear Shoma,

Thanks for your answer. You are soooo right when you talk about the masks. They are omnipresent. And the only weapon we have against them is KNOWLEDEGE. I think the only way of preventing the maked people (both men and women, let mi tell you) from hurting or diminishing our world movement for gender equality, is to get to know women's reality very well, through the study of the actual situation of our lives, in numbers.

It is very easy for legislators and government executives to fool us when we do not have our numbers right and matching up. For example, most government agencies know how many people get a job, but very few know how many women have lost a job against a man having the same skills. These kind of numbers, men say, 'are very hard to get'. And they are exactly the ones we need. So women of the world, begin to STUDY, to begin lowering the price tag.

Warm Regards,

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

Yes, Shoma, there is no denying that women are still being raped (physically and emotionally) at every corner of the earth, from Canada to India, Italy to Cambodia. This is our sad reality. In fact, I have experienced this truth both in my country, Canada, and yours, India.

In Canada, I have worked with battered women in various shelters, each of them from a different walk of life, but all of them with very similar stories of abuse and conflict. The shelters are constantly overflowing. Why? Because too many women and children are suffering at the hands of violence and/or neglect. Imagine, a country like Canada, a "privileged" and "prosperous" country and yet...this country is not immune to such poisonous actions.

In India, I worked in a village community where men viewed women as "inherently promiscuous": a community where cattle roamed free while women and girls were confined inside their homes; a community where fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers believed that the use of physical force was the sole means of keeping their daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters in line, and where these same daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters would shrug their shoulders and laugh nervously as if to say, "Yes, these are our lives. Now, what do you want us to do about it?"

What we must consider, as well, is the possibility that the number of incidents have increased because so too have the number of reports being made. During the eras of our grandmothers and mothers, violence against women was extremely taboo (not to suggest that it is 'taboo-free' today), and most women would have rather remained silent than have the outside world know what was taking place behind closed doors.

Today, in communities worldwide, and perhaps because of the increase in women-related organizations such as V-Day and International Women's Day, far more women are being vocal about the violence they have encountered in their lives. On a side note, in one neighbourhood I visited in Chennai (the south of India), if a woman was being abused, the entire community of women (and several men) would come to her rescue. Was such camaraderie and support prevalent when our grandmothers and mothers were growing up? Likely not. Thus, while times remain tough and the outlook often seems gloomy, there is a light tying so hard to flicker at the end of the tunnel.

From the women and girls I have had the pleasure of knowing and conversing with, not a single one of them has ever claimed this road was going to be easy. There are going to be some peaks and, inevitably, there will be many valleys. However we choose to navigate these roads, we must continue to brave the storms that lie ahead and use our newfound sense of worth to challenge barricades of skepticism and doubt.

Dear Jackie:

The crusade is not only far from over, but in some fronts, it has not even begun. We should start talking about the unraveled fronts of action that are ahead of us. Thanks for these valuable comments.

Warm regards,

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

You are very welcome. And yes, we al need the prayers and good wishes. Please pray for me too!

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

Women Women Women. We, WOMEN have the power of giving birth, we are the root of all development, We are the first educator for our children, we are responsible for the restructuring of our family. Women contribute on all sphere of life- Socially, economically, culturally, politically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally.

We are struggling and I strongly believe that will reach the top of the ladder. Empowering grass root level women will greatly create a great and significant impact of our society. In that day of celebration i join hand with the others and congratulate all those who have make even a little difference.

So lets come together and exploit the magic of differences.

Happy Women Day

A wise woman can turn a desert into a beautiful garden

Thanks for your answer. I share the feeling. As I come from a land that is very far away from yours (Bolivia in South America), please forgive my ignorance, but I would like to ask you about your name, what does it mean? which is your name and which your last name? I am very intrigued.

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

My name is Zaahirah it's an Arabic name means Luminous and bright. and Zabeen is an unused name given by my grand mother. My family name is MUTHY it come from india. i am presently trancing my family root.

A wise woman can turn a desert into a beautiful garden