This March 8, 2021, Busayo invited some of us adult women to speak with girls in her home area. How special it was to be there with them for the morning, in school together and celebrating International Women's Day. And how special in particular, knowing that these girls have the chance to meet with Busayo in person. Days later, I'm still thinking of what it was like to be with them and what I want them to know. So, my thoughts from this morning. What I want all the girls to know.
It is International Women’s Day. In fact, because this is so important we have declared March to be International Women’s Month. We continue to hold meetings and gather, and remind each other that women deserve respect, the utmost respect, and we send messages to all the girls, that none of what was done to you, that has hurt you in any way, should ever have happened. And that we're working on it, that we've been working on it for a long time.
We want you to know that we meet together like this, girls and women, that we meet to let each other know what is happening, and what we are doing about it. We meet to share what women throughout time have accomplished, the brilliance and leadership of women that has been hidden from us, that has been kept out of the story we are told. We meet to strengthen our connections with each other. We meet to send each other love. We meet to show those that hold this system in place, that we are standing together to call for an end to all of this violence. Violence toward women and girls, violence toward anyone who steps forward to defy these unjust rules. And we step forward to end the violence being done to the earth and waters of our beautiful planet.
What so many women my age had hoped is that we would have been able to change this, long before all you beautiful girls were born, before any one of you would be so disrespectfully, so horrendously treated. We want you to know that we hold onto the right of every one of us to be free to live our lives as we choose, without violence, without poverty, with freedom.
So as women, given what we are working for together here, it is such an important moment for us to meet with you girls, to know how you are, to make sure you are safe, to make sure you do not blame yourself for anything wrong done to you, that you know how important you are, and that you know that there is this sisterhood, this sisterhood that we have created, hearing each others’ stories, listening, sharing, working with each other on how to end all of the violence, everywhere. Meeting for the chance to put an arm around your shoulders, and to together create a very different world, the world we know is possible. We meet to help each other heal, share with each other how we are, what we are doing, how we believe in this world without pain, this world of respect, and love. We meet to help each other find our ways to shine, to live our lives fully. We meet so that you can know how many of us are working together to create this world in which women and girls are free of violence, free to choose our lives, this world without hunger, without poverty, without pain. A world of peace.
We want you to know too, that this sisterhood has existed throughout time, but that it has never been as strong globally as it is, right now. That now we’re able to find each other, meet with each other, get to know each other, and stay strong together. This is a celebration. This is why I celebrate International Women’s Day. To be in close touch with each other about how we are, and what we’re doing. To stand together publicly. And to celebrate all you girls who have already found this sisterhood. How wonderful to see you.