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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

#EmbraceEquity: International Women's Day 2023

I feel like I won the lottery in being born a woman today in the United States of America. It struck me last Tuesday as I thought about the 1949 book, The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. She wrote of how the station of woman is dismissed, viewed as lesser, incomplete, and altered. It felt like a blow to the stomach thinking about being a woman in 1949 and areas of the world today that do not have equal rights. My high school students compared their experience of equality in 2023. This is what got me thinking… I am the first female in my lineage to be in a marriage with equal power and authority.


What a gift. I have choice. I can own property and secure credit in my name alone. I don’t have to have a man to exist in this world. I can participate in voting, education, decision making, and leadership. I feel valued and whole. I believe my ideas are equal in value to anyone else. Thank you to my elders for teaching and supporting me as a woman.

Being a woman in America today means belonging to myself. I have the right to be me and disagree. I have power and agency in most situations. I recognize when my voice and ability are stepped on by another and can choose my mobility. This is a new place to be as a woman in the timeline of history. I celebrate all the people who helped make this possible.

What do I want to do with this privilege? Who can I support and encourage to lean into her power and agency? I’m impressed and amazed at our youth growing up in COVID. COVID is a developmental hardship that they are still working through. It left me wondering, What can I do? As a community member, my answer has been Eyes of Hope, Stoughton, Inc. I have a heart for connecting people to opportunities to support others in my town. In action, this means building a new STEAM center (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) for our afterschool initiative. Taking youth on retreat and asking a friend to help grocery shop to make this happen easily. Speaking up at meetings to let my community know that a tutoring program is holding a training so they can pitch in to develop executive functioning in our youth. I’m joyfully loud in my desire to promote equity in Stoughton. A long time ago, I heard, “Give as you can…Not as you can’t.”

Thank you to all in the world who give as they can. This is enhancing equity and belonging. I hold such gratitude for the many shining examples at work doing good. We have a long way to go globally. On this International Woman’s Day, I lift women up and celebrate this year’s theme #EmbraceEquity.

“Being included, and a sense of belonging, feels right. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity, and to help drive success for all. Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality.” (

The website goes on to say,

“Reflect on how we can all be part of the solution, not the problem.

Encourage and rally your friends, family, colleagues, and community to embrace equity.

Together we can work collectively to impact positive change.

Together we can all help forge an equal world.

Let's all embrace equity today, and always.”


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