Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy(ish) Day of the Women of the Americas

Today is Day of the Women of the Americas. (Did you know? There's next to nothing about it in the press, or on the Internet as a whole for that matter.)

"The Day of the Women of the Americas was established in 1982 by Resolution CIM/RES.587 (XII-0/82) of the OAS General Assembly to commemorate the creation of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) in 1928. In doing so, the Assembly recognized the vital role that the women of the Americas have played as agents of social change. The main objective of this day is to stimulate new initiatives and establish programs of action dedicated to involving women fully and permanently in the countries’ development. Twenty years later, the CIM encourages the participation of all Member States to celebrate women’s roles as fundamental actors and vital constituents to their societies.

The CIM maintains a constant dialogue with women of the Americas in order to exchange ideas and experiences and to promote policies that will increase women’s voices in the development process."
Now, I may be wrong about this (please?), but: Given the lack of talk about this day, the lack of any apparent organizational effort to even make it "a day," the seeming absence of any actions related to this day (except this one and I'm sure a few others) ... what is the point? Issue some press releases and pretend like the Americas are working together to better women's lives? (Are the Americas doing that? I could be totally be wrong, but I don't recall anything along those lines going on.)

Anyway, if you're interested, here's what Organization of American States Secretary General José Miguel Insulza has to say about the day. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also issued a statement. I do like her point about Haiti:

"Efforts to empower women across the Americas have gained new urgency in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, which left so many homeless and in need. In the first hours after the disaster, Haitian women played a vital role in distributing emergency assistance and securing lifelines for shattered communities. In the difficult days of rebuilding that lie ahead, their determination and hard work will be crucial to Haiti’s rebirth. As we celebrate this Day of the Women of the Americas, let us reaffirm our solidarity with the women of Haiti and their families."

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