Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day and all over the internet are tributes to some of the great women of our time.  In the spirit of female solidarity, I wanted to do a tribute of sorts as well, to share with  you some of the amazing women who have done and continue to do amazing things across the globe. These aren't the women who show up in People Magazine's top most inspirational women issue, and I think that's a perfect reason to share their stories...

Amy Goodman (1957 - )
New York-born activist, author, investigative reporter, and progressive broadcast journalist. watch her show monday to friday at www.democracynow.org! "The media is absolutely essential to the functioning of a democracy. It's not our job to cozy up to power. We're supposed to be the check and balance on government."

Vandana Shiva (1952 - )
Indian-born philosopher, environmental activist, and eco-feminist. She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario in 1978 with the doctoral disseration "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory."
"The primary threat to nature and people today comes from centralising and monopolising power and control. Not until diversity is made the logic of production will there be a chance for sustainability, justice and peace. Cultivating and conserving diversity is no luxury in our times: it is a survival imperative."

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941)
English author, essayist, publisher, and one of the foremost literary figures of the twentieth century. "As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world."
Kavita Ramdas
President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the largest non-profit foundation in the world funding women's human rights. During Ramdas’ tenure, Global Fund assets have increased from $6 million to $21 million. Grantmaking has risen to more than $8 million per year, and the number of countries in which the Global Fund has made grants has nearly tripled.  Ramdas has also overseen the Global Fund’s first ever endowment campaign and the creation of the groundbreaking Now or Never Fund to ensure women’s participation on critical international issues.
Judi Bari (1949 – 1997) 
American environmentalist, labour leader, feminist and principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging in Northern California's ancient redwood forests. On May 24, 1990, Bari was severely injured by a pipe bomb which exploded in her car as she and fellow Earth First! member Darryl Cherney traveled through Oakland, California, on their way to Santa CruzBari and Cherney were on an organizing tour for "Redwood Summer", a campaign of nonviolent protests focused on saving redwood forests in Northern Californiaand building connections with loggers through the IWW. Bari had received numerous death threats citing her anti-logging activism in the weeks before the bombing. She had reported them to local police, and after the bombing Bari's attorney turned written threats over to the FBI for investigation. The local police and the FBI never investigated, court evidence later showed. A year after the still unsolved bombing, Bariand Cherney filed a federal civil rights suit claiming that the FBI and police officers falsely arrested the pair and attempted to frame them as terrorists so as to discredit their political organizing in defense of the redwood forests. In 2002, a jury in their federal civil lawsuit exonerated Bari and Cherney by ordering four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers to pay a total of $4.4 million to Cherney and to Bari's estate for violation of their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly or to organize and for false arrest and unlawful search and seizure in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. Bari died on March 2, 1997 of breast cancer, five years before her exoneration. 
Angela Davis (1944 - )
an American political activist, scholar, and author, Davis was most active during the late 1960s and 1970s and was associated with the Communist Party USA, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing interests; she is the founder of "Critical Resistance", an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is presently a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is the former director of the university's Feminist Studies department. "I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement."
Kasturba Gandhi (1869 - 1944)
Born to wealthy businessman Gokuladas Kapadia of Porbandar, Kasturba married Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi through arrangement when she was fourteen years old. She joined him in political protests and from 1904 to 1914 was active in the Phoenix Settlement near Durban. During the 1913 protest against working conditions for Indians in South Africa, Kasturbai was arrested and sentenced to three months in a hard labor prison. Later, in India, she sometimes took her husband's place when he was under arrest. In 1915, when Gandhi returned to India to support indigo planters, Kasturba accompanied him. She died in Gandhi's arms while both were still in prison.
Arundati Roy (1961 - )
Indian-born author, playwright, social critic, and anit-globalization activist. "The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget."
Maude Barlow (1947 - )
Canadian authoractivist, and national chairperson of The Council of Canadians, a citizens’ advocacy organization. She is also the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works internationally for the right to water, and chairs the board of Washington-based Food & Water Watch. She is also an executive member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Judy Rebick (1945 - )
 an American-born journalist, political activist, and feminist, she moved to Canada at age 9 and rose to prominence as president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women from 1990 to 1993. In 2001 she helped launch rabble.ca, a multi-media independent news and discussion site, with Mark Surman and Judy MacDonald, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Rebick was publisher of rabble.ca from 2001 until 2005.

And a video worth watching...

Thanks for reading!

Love Desiree
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