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Some Thoughts On Being a Woman …

Don’t you just love gum blossoms? Their season has now finished but for the past few months they have given me a thrill as I walked around my local streets. Although they don’t keep that well as cut flowers I couldn’t resist having some in the living room. (You’ll notice them on WN quite often because I love them so)

Bees just adore them … I wonder what their honey will taste like and remind myself that I must get on with getting that native bee hive for the back garden.

Anyhow, whilst out walking last week I also thought about International Women’s Day and some of the women who’ve interested me recently – all doing such different things, with passion.

Take a look at  Three Women (from Insight on SBS television)  - each with vastly different paths to success. I love reading the comments too …

Vicki Archer, an Australian woman living in Provence and author of two beautiful books about France, has a gorgeous blog called French Essence – I escape into her world when I want to ‘fly away’ …

Siri Hustvedt’s book The Summer without Men is so dense with observations and feelings about ‘being’ a girl, sister, woman, mother, daughter, wife … I just love it and can’t wait till bookclub reads it – lots of discussion coming up!

I often think of a woman I met by chance a little while ago ( read down that post a little to get to her story). She had such an aura of energy, love and good will that I am touched to have met her for just a ‘moment’

And lastly two quotes that make me smile every time I think of them -

She did what she could – epitaph on a headstone in NZ

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served nothing but leftovers. The original meal was never found – Tracey Ullman  (as quoted from one of my favourite Australian cookbooks Let it Simmer by Sean Moran)

17 March 2011/ The Coffee Shop

Topic of the Week – International Women’s Day 2009


Today, Sunday 8 March 2009, is International Women’s Day.

Well, I must admit that I’ve been unmoved by International Women’s Day for most of my life. Every now and then it crossed my mind but generally I was too busy just getting on with life to give it much thought, let alone action. 

A few things over the past year changed my mind.

The first was a documentary about child brides in Afghanistan burning themselves to escape their miserable circumstances. They can’t  leave the marriage – returning to their own families is out of the question – and so the only way out is suicide by setting themselves alight. 

The second was a programme showing the work of Dr. Catherine Hamlin AC, an Australian gynaecologist who has lived and worked in Ethiopia since 1975. She has operated on thousands of women who would otherwise suffer permanent incontinence due to serious tearing during prolonged and obstructed labour, in conditions far different from those in developed countries. 

The third came from an elderly woman, Iris, who had just been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. She lived alone. She didn’t have a car and so she had to get up at 5am to travel 3 hours to the health and meditation workshop where I met her. She walked well over an hour of that time, on a cold winter morning, just to get to the train station.

Her personality and contribution at the workshop were amazing. She exuded empathy, energy and enthusiasm for everything said and done by the group during the day. Afterwards, as I drove her to the railway station, we talked of things she was passionate about. Not once did she mention her health or the inner battles she must surely have been facing. Instead she spoke about her involvement in an organic food co-operative in her home town and her deep concerns for the environment.

Just as I was pulling into the station she started to tell me about her other great, lifelong passion – Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – a women’s group founded in 1915, only four years after the first International Women’s Day. She even had their brochure to give me. I wanted to continue talking but she had a train to catch and I just knew my chance meeting with her was one of those fleeting moments, long remembered.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate Iris and all the many women who try to overcome challenges daily.

Do you know of women making a difference? It may be women you are involved with or women you’ve heard about. It may even be you! We would love to hear from you and publish your story for all to share.

Below are some links that you may find interesting:

International Women’s Day

The United Nations Development Fund for Women

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Hamlin Fistula Relief and Aid Fund

Zonta Birthing Kit Project