Rebekah Alsterberg Wigemark delivered a remarkable speech on the International Women’s Day. Her speech is titled as “Echoing the Heart of Life on Earth for Women and Gender Equality”, and she gave a sound message to the audience regarding maintaining the respect and regard of women in almost every status. A few extracts of her speech are given below.
International Women’s Day celebrates women from all stages in life, so Let us all honor the young woman, the woman childbearing years, the artist of her own destiny, the single woman, the married woman, the sister, the mother, the lover, the partner, the daughter, the cousin.
The aspiring student, the teacher, the elder woman, the old woman, the old crone…The philosopher, the best friend, the leader, and all the women ancestors who went before us…In all of these women exist the mythical element of the goddess on earth.
Above all, International women’s day can celebrate the whole entity of female gender and also the independence of what prejudice against her gender entails. Women’s empowerment for Pakistan is a story also of women oppressed in many regions and tragic events have abandoned many in crisis. These women need all your love and support.
As human beings, we all seek role models, which begin within the home. We also seek the sacred within us, the goddess strength within our souls. Strong Female Role models can teach all genders how to grow and to learn, especially how to live and teach caring to educate against violence.
We must all educate against the injustice of all inequality. As women we must also be warriors to protect life. Just as a lioness knows her own strength, a woman knows she has power when she trusts herself. All women need to know how to work together against injustice. Sadly fewer women understand how to fight against jealousy and the extremes of oppression with other humans. Like a pride of lions, women also need to remember to give thanks to fellow brave women who have been working endlessly as beacons of hope…
Women, especially need to choose to be the role models that they seek to find or educate in others when no one is there for them. It is a hard journey for many. If you meet those who are alone or those who have no voice, go to them to embrace them and to work with them. When even a woman rises above her pain and holds the torch for truth, for dignity and for whom she is, then she ignites a flame of hope for all around her and for the world. Such stories also inspire others and quickly spread empowerment.
In today’s world, too many women live in fear of speaking out. They live in fear of violence. They remain silent for fear of the horrors of abuse. Many of them live in fear of their lives. 80 % of women in Pakistan have no healthcare. This tragedy of lack of care affects mothers and babies in society. 80% women are denied education by their families.
How has this happened? We must ask ourselves again and again. When women are oppressed, the oppressors have forgotten they would never have existed, if a woman had not given them life. No human can exist without women bringing them into the world.
Sadly and tragically gender imbalance struggles have affected women all around the globe. None of us are immune. All of us feel the repercussions of the psychological extremes created by gender prejudice and imbalance. We are all responsible for this sad story. Your story affects my story. Whatever happens to you? Also happens to me and to all of us.
Often due to the imbalances in male-female, patriarchal and matriarchal relations, many women work in isolation. Many women live in fear of oppression by their male peers in a society. We need to break these isolation barriers and share our needs and pain together as women. Only through this way we will find our joy and our strength to support life and social harmony. A man who loves a woman also honors his equality with her. Likewise a woman who loves a man needs to honor her equality with him.
Both men and women, no matter who we are, no matter what gender we are born to: we all need preservation of women’s rights. Because, if as a child, our mothers are oppressed, we have a reaction against oppression. Likewise, if mothers are flourishing and free, they will give confidence to new generation.
If the balance between male-female is healthy in a society there will be education, growth and creativity for everyone. In a healthy creative society, the psychological elements of the God and Goddess of gender strive always in harmonious manner. In the dire circumstances in our present world society conflicts and crisis, it is vital for woman to take on leadership roles.
Women also need to support each other and work together to help inspire and encourage each other to learn and grow. Biologically we are hard-wired for compassion, creativity and the ability to care to help heal our world. The happiness of every family is when the mother of the family is feeling inspired and secure. This also means the happiness and security of any society is possible only when women are inspired, free and secure in their belief that they can create hope in life.
Sisters and friends must also inspire and support each other as women, not impair each other by power struggles, jealousy or envy. We need to protect our gender by our intelligence in caring first for each other. There is a saying in many religions that Paradise is always under mother’s feet. I would add that paradise is also under women’s feet, firmly walking on earth together.
There are truly so many unsung women heroes in our world and in Pakistan, many truly brilliant women doing tremendous untold work. My heart and soul are always with all of you in your imperative and vital work. You help raise up hope, creativity, educational standards and the full compassionate awareness of wisdom and care in your country and in the world for the earth.
Your great vision and your stories can teach every woman around you how to stand for justice, how to stand for the inner dignity and wisdom of our gender. Human existence on earth for the sake of future, women everywhere need, more than ever to stand together. We women need to stand firmly against the ignorance that breeds oppression. Women need to stand together against wars and against intolerance.
Above all, women especially need to stand together against the vast crimes mankind has inflicted against nature. The circle of what we know as life on earth is in your hands.
When a child is in danger a mother does everything to save that child. Similarly women must raise full awareness and be active to save the environment for life on earth.
It is well known that degrees of progress in the social life of any nation are derived from respect for the woman. The health of our planet also relies on respect for women. Times and events in our world are becoming more urgent than ever to voice real issues, especially, for women and the fate of our world. In the heart of woman is also the hope for healing of the environment on our planet.
The existence of life on earth is facing in imminent danger. If we do not act now, the earth may recover after millions of years, but we may not be there in that new world, unless we bring about a change now. American Indian nations call the planet “Mother Earth”. It is my hope that as women, we all stand together to demand dignity and respect for each other as we must also now demand the respect and dignity to save our only home, mother earth. That is my hope for International Women’s Day and for every day we continue to live on earth, for all of you and for us all.