Reflections on International Women's Day

Founder and Board Chair

It is with joy, pride and expectations that I share some thoughts on the celebration of Women’s History Month, recognizing the achievements born amidst struggle, bias and inequality on many levels. The advances occurring are accelerating but it has been an arduous endeavor and a long way yet in reaching our ambitions.

The Goldin Institute is proud to support leaders across the globe who are making real progress in raising the spirit and conditions of their community. After sixteen years of developing strategies and solutions with grassroots leaders, our GATHER platform has proved a success in extending the methods by which leaders are able to learn and work together to attain their goals.

Our survival and accomplishments could certainly not have been possible without the support of global partners and associates to whom we are forever grateful. Our inspiration is fueled by the dedication and results particularly of women who are leading the fight on urgent issues such as female education, rights and empowerment. These women are and will always be foundational to our global work.

World travels have expanded and deepened a compassion and commitment in me to those steeped in poverty and discrimination with little or no resources by which to escape. Women, especially, bear the burden of laboring and suffering for the entire family. I’ve listened, watched and absorbed what it means to be a person, a woman, who bears the agony and, too often, atrocities, to survive another day for her children.

Their fortitude, spirit and strength fills me with reverence.

I want to relate an experience in which participating in a village meeting conducted and attended by men. As we met to discuss urgent issues in the village, I was curious about the women gathered at the open windows and peering through the door. Questioning the lead man of the group, I was informed that women are not included as they are uneducated and cannot read. In further discussions about identifying and leveraging resources, I pointed out the valuable contribution women were lending to the community: planning, organizing, raising and educating children, field and livestock work, feeding many with just a handful of rice. It is undeniable: women know how to DO things.

This conversation was not warmly received, but I knew there were layers of discrimination and cultural expectations that take time to affect.


Sometime later, a second visit to continue the conversations proved amazing as to my awe struck, teary eyes were two women sitting at the table in the meeting room. They were now committee heads, leaders who gave forth their reports while more women sat within, not outside the room. That is WOMEN RISING!

With the increasing number of women entering political arenas, winning elections, we will have our place at the table and our reasoned voices in the process of creating and governing equality.

Related Articles
  • img
    HAITI | International Women's Day - February 09, 2019
    Global Associate Malya Villard Appolon, Founder the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV), reflects on "celebrating" International Women's Day during the turmoil in Haiti and calls for global solidarity with women who are currently suffering.
  • img
    UGANDA | International Women's Day - February 08, 2019
    GATHER Fellow Diana Alaroker of the Youth Leaders for Restoration and Development in Gulu, Uganda, works with returning child combatants to ensure that women and girls will rise!
  • img
    International Women's Day - February 08, 2019
    GATHER Fellow Michelle Kuiper shares her powerful story as an advocate for sexual assault survivors in Kentucky as part of International Women's Day.
  • img
    International Women's Day - February 08, 2019
    GATHER Fellow Cynthia Austin, founder of the Shyne organization created by women who’ve gotten out of or are seeking to leave sexual exploitation, shares her powerful reflections on International Women's Day.
We're excited that you are interested in joining the global network of grassroots leaders. Complete the form below to take the first step in applying for Gather:
First Name*
Enter your first name

Last Name*
Enter your last name

Select country

Enter a valid email address