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More than anything, International Women’s Day is a call to sisterhood, to stand with those still fighting for their rights. Here in the United States, the long struggle for equality is not the work of one woman. It takes the support of many women, each contributing in her own way, to move our collective forward. This is true for women everywhere. Each of the women WfWI serves in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo relies on the support of a “sister” in another country, someone she has never met but who is there for her as she learns about her rights and develops the skills to be able to rely on herself. When women join together with a common goal, they are able to bring changes to their communities that would have been nearly impossible for one woman to do alone.

That’s what sisterhood truly means, coming together to support each other through the hard times and working together to make life better for each other and for our children. At Women for Women International, we believe that one woman can change many things, but many women together can change everything. Women around the world continue to struggle for equality, in education, health care, economic opportunities, and political participation. It’s going to take a sisterhood of women coming together, across borders and divides, to ensure those who are standing up for their rights and equality succeed. When they do, they will not only have made life better for women, but for everyone.

In the upcoming year, I hope that women will continue to make progress on the goals we have all been working towards for the past century. But most importantly, I hope women everywhere will join together in a sisterhood of support for the women who still have the longest fight ahead of them. When all women are free to pursue their dreams and not held back by discriminatory laws or societal norms, then International Women’s Day will truly be something to celebrate.

by Andree Simon
President and COO, Women for Women International

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