Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

International Women's Day: A Powerful Message

Once in a while I get a review about P.O.W.ER that I find disturbing. I'm not talking about negative reactions to the story or the writing (painful as those may be) but reviews written by young women (it seems) who are responding to what they see as an implausible concept--the idea that there could possibly be a world where women are treated so unjustly. "It's medieval" one said. "It's ridiculous" another said.

These reviews make my heart hurt--not because they didn't love the book. I know I can't please everyone. My heart hurts because they don't see the reality of the world around them. They don't realize these injustices exist all over the world. They see their perception of freedoms in this country (freedoms which are challenged, and not as equal as some would like to believe) and think all is right in the world.

If we never look beyond our own lives, we can never make a difference.

Yesterday, in his weekly address, President Obama spoke about an initiative called "Let Girls Learn." I don't care what you think of him as president . . . I respect his words:
"I’m convinced that a world in which girls are educated is a safer, more stable, more prosperous place. When girls are educated, their future children are healthier and better nourished. Their future wages increase, which in turn strengthens their families’ security. National growth gets a boost, too. And places where women and girls are treated as full and equal citizens tend to be more stable and more democratic."

Yesterday I took my daughter to my alma mater, Smith College, to participate in Splash Day, an opportunity to have young people experience a day at a college.

Why? I did it because I believe in the importance of education for everyone. I did it because I want Sarah to grow in confidence in herself. Do I want her to go to Smith? Only if she chooses to, but I do want her to pursue every opportunity to learn, grow, and embrace the powerful woman that she will become.

[caption id="attachment_8872" align="aligncenter" width="526"]Future Smithie (?) eating Herrell's (one of my faves). Future Smithie (?) eating Herrell's (one of my faves).[/caption]

Today is International Women's Day--a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world. A day to reflect on and challenge the injustices that still exist. Emma Watson will be leading a conversation about issues online (and live) as part of the #HeForShe campaign. If I could have dropped everything (and had extra funds), I would have flown to England to take part. Unfortunately, prior commitments mean I won't even be able to participate online. But I will be revisiting the results, because I believe in the importance of creating a society where men and women support each other.

HeForShe Conversation

After all, the world is changed only when people join together to support one another. I wrote that for a reason, because I truly believe that change will not come through war and violence, but through empowering and supporting one another in creative ways..

In my own small way, I try to live the values I believe. I write about the change I would like to see. I teach to empower others. I encourage my daughter and my students to recognize her privilege, and understand that injustice comes in many forms. I sometimes wonder, though, if I am doing enough.

While I don't deny the fantasies of P.O.W.ER becoming a best seller--my real goal is to see it do well so that I can make a difference in the lives of girls and women. Whether through the donations I will be making to causes that support women around the world, or by helping one person feel empowered--my dream for this book has more to do with its message than the words themselves. If I could afford to, I would send copies of P.O.W.ER to girls around the world, with messages of inspiration written in the cover.

If I could afford to or if my name was big enough, I would travel the world myself, hoping to inspire change.

But, reality sinks in, and I recognize that I don't have the reach of Emma Watson or the Obama's. Still, I have a voice, I have words, and I have the belief that everyone has a right to education and to opportunities.

I will not remain silent. I will write, I will speak, and I will create the possibility of change.

What can you do to help?


Buy P.O.W.ER today and share it with the girls in your life.

For each book sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to causes that support women and children around the world.