Raja's Statement On International Women's Day: Today we celebrate the achievements of women and girls
Today we celebrate the achievements women and girls have won through their own courage, intelligence, dedication, and strength. A single day is not enough to commemorate the struggles and accomplishments of women, or those still ahead, but International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month draw the spotlight to the fight for equality, and justice. We must honor the lives and struggles of women recognized by history, others we fail to recognize enough, and as much as either, the countless women who have shaped the world we know for the better through lives of unrecognized and unrecorded contribution.
In tracing the work of the women who fought and continue to fight for the right to vote, to be treated fairly, and the very premise of equality, we must also acknowledge the difficult truth that rights are never given; they must be won. While the arc of history may be long, and it may bend toward justice, it only does through the commitment of generations of women who bent it themselves. Despite these achievements, much work remains so long as women are paid a fraction of their male counterparts, face greater obstacles in climbing to the top ranks of nearly every field, are disproportionately victimized by violence, and contend each day with affronts to their basic humanity based upon gender.
Just as the achievements of women and girls elevate us all, so too does the denial of their rights diminish our nation and our world, for as Noble Laureate Malala Yousafzai told us, “we cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”