Here’s to Strong Women

Today is International Women’s Day. It is acknowledged worldwide, and celebrates women’s achievements from political to social, as well as calling for gender equality. In Nepal, it is actually a public holiday (for women only).

In the early 1900’s, when international women’s day first began, the aim was to increase wages, decrease working hours and to gain the right to vote. Now, this day is more about celebrating the achievements of women, and inspiring others.

When I think of International Women’s Day, I think about the strong women in history, Nellie McClung, Roberta Bondar, and Rosa Parks.

But I also think about the women in my life.

Strong, independent, brilliant, and amazing people. The women that come to mind are all scattered around the world.

My own mother, grandmother, cousins and aunts. Canadian friends making their way in their careers as photographers, teachers, and working their way up in whatever organization they work for.

I also think of my Nepali friends and the women I met when I lived there.


This photograph was taken in December 2017, in a village a few hours south of Kathmandu, on a day that I refer to as “the day of 100 cups of tea”. I was here on a field visit, interviewing men and women to learn more about perspectives on gender in the dairy farming community. With each house we visited, we were offered a cup of tea, no matter how busy they were. The women in this picture are all members of the only women’s dairy cooperative in the district.

These are the women who told me about waking up before the sun rises to milk buffalo, make tea, cook breakfast, take the milk to the collection center, wash clothes and dishes, care for their children, collect grass for buffalo feed, run small businesses or attend cooperative meetings, cook dinner and do whatever else needed to be done before the sun set. It is astounding how much they accomplish in one day.
I admire these women, and many others who I met in Nepal for so many reasons. They are braver, stronger and work harder than I ever could. And while they are leading these extraordinarily busy lives, when you visit their home, the first thing they will do is make time to chat and offer a cup of tea.





2 thoughts on “Here’s to Strong Women

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  1. A fabulous celebration of womanhood! Thanks for sharing! I am a Creative Life Coach with a poetry blog and here is today’s post about strong-hearted women :

    I am also on Instagram as #coachingcreatively, let’s follow each other if you use this medium? You can also find me on Facebook under Sam Allen wearing sunglasses with my head leaning against a tree! I love connecting with fellow creatives as you can see!

    Sunny greetings from Switzerland!

    Sam 🙂


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