Today is International Women’s Day.
As an American woman, I’m grateful for the rights I have and I’m especially thankful for a husband who sees me as an equal partner. I hope I never take these blessings for granted but if I do I only have to look to certain countries to know I have it good.
Living in London has allowed me to explore the city in search of art, museums, history, beautiful sights and other fun adventures. But what has been truly amazing for all three of us is the interaction we’ve had with people from so many different countries and cultures.
This past Tuesday we hosted a dinner for some Afghani friends ~ one woman and one man. Both had very interesting stories to tell but I have to admit, it was her stories I found so compelling. It started with the sentence “I was 16 when the Taliban took over. They told us we couldn’t go to school. I kept my books for 5 years thinking each day that maybe the next day I would go to school.” From that point on we were all mesmerized and anxious to hear what happened next. Five years later from the time she could no longer go to school, and after living without TV, radio, or even electricity, she has a very different perspective of the NATO intervention.
Once the Taliban was out of power and her opportunities restored, she ended up going to “Ole Miss” (University of Mississippi) on a Fulbright Scholarship. After graduating, she returned to Afghanistan to teach. I was especially in awe of the way she handled the boys who didn’t want to learn from a female teacher. This woman’s strength and conviction is inspiring!
What struck me the most was her lack of bitterness or hatred when she spoke of the things that happened in her past. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day then to think of her accomplishments!