❝ I Am a Refugee and I’m Celebrating International Women’s Day ❞ · in Athens, Greece
When you are struggling, and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about–and that is the power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.
– Michelle Obama
It’s quite interesting that we still live in an era where equality and female rights are a constant struggle. We’ve been to space, reached deep depths of the ocean, and are continuously making scientific contributions to change the perspectives of our world and education. But still we find it hard to show one another respect and kindness. Why is this so?
Today is Women’s International Day and I got to celebrate it with my students at the refugee camps in Athens, Greece. I’m teaching 20+ year old Afghans and Iranian men and women English. So they too have a chance to get work and through that a visa, for them and their families.
Yesterday, I prepped them on the topic we would be covering. And although most men were accepting of equal women human rights and education, I did get some minor backlash. I explained that it takes two to create life, and women should be appreciated just as much if not more.
One of my male students politely told me — but without the man no child would be born. He was clearly talking about the reproductive system and let’s be honest sex and sperm. So I argued that without the woman, no child would grow up. I asked him ‘who would birth your child? Who would breast feed your child? Who would raise, cloth, or feed them?’ I admire that he wasn’t stubborn — a trait most people have. Instead his eyes brightened and his facial expression softened and with a slightly bowed head, he said to me — ‘you’re right, I didn’t think of it that way.’
I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say, ‘Yes, women can.’
— Dilma Rousseff, Former President of Brazil.
Read more on Women Who Dare and 15 Empowering Quotes from Women Who Dare → Part II ♥
Today, in class we learned about hope, strength, and courage. I told them about Malala Yousufzai and Rosa Parks and their great impact in history. I shared with them a great piece of advice my husband gave me → to never make a decision based off of fear. And with that we went over these 3 empowering quotes;
→ We spoke about the world in general and the one within us. They’ve made it this far… now it’s time to learn the language to communicate. In the situation that they are in, English can serve as a tool for them. But first, they need to educate themselves. Because if there is a will, there is a way.
We were scared but our fear was not as strong as our courage.
— Malala Yousafzai
→ The journey they took to end up where they are is a testament of this. I wanted to share this quote with them to remind them they are halfway there. To also go over — never make a decision out of fear.
God has always given me the strength to say what is right.
— Rosa Parks
→ They love this one and I hope it also encourages them to stay afar from lies.
— Selena (@ygselena) March 8, 2017
The women here are so eager to learn — they study day and night. They have a drive every teacher wishes to see — they’re doing this so their children can have a better life.
I think women have to stand up, they have to raise their voice, demonstrate that they have equal abilities in this country like many other people have.
— Fawzia Koofi
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 8, 2017
For International Women’s Day 2017, we’re asking you to #BeBoldForChange
Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world
– a more inclusive, gender equal world.
— International Women’s Day website
A special thank you to my inspiration for this — Vicki — a dedicated individual who organized celebrating International Women’s Day at the camps.
Please comment below or emails me at Gina@WhatTheDoost.com if you want to learn more about how you can help!