Family Freedom Fighters—Women in Ukraine and Globally

On this annual International Women’s Day my focus is on women from around the world who give voice and action to hope, freedom, peace, and family. When it comes to natural disasters, fleeing from terror through dangerous journeys with children, escaping governmental oppression, and war, as we are seeing in Ukraine, women are at the forefront. There are many examples but I will share only three.

Madres de la Plaza de Mayo/Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Since 1977 mothers began their march around the plaza to demand information about children “disappeared” during Argentina’s last military dictatorship. Now grandmothers, they continue to march around the square every Thursday at 3:30 pm. They persist with resilience and valor.

Mothers of the Movement. This unity began after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2013 and the acquittal of his killer. They represent mothers whose African American children were killed by the police or by gun violence. They present at community events to share their experiences of loss and to advocate for political change against violence and the flow of arms.

Ukrainian Women Today. The realities in Ukraine are televised globally and through many social media platforms. Here we see images and hear voices of women exerting leadership. In this country of 44 million, 54% are women. It is reported that 33,000 are in the military defending their country. Mothers and grandmothers are consoling and protecting children in subway bunkers and other spaces for safety. Babies are being born to terrified mothers in makeshift underground hospitals. But the images of terror also express resolve.

Ukraine is a country that has advanced gender equity. Oksana Markarova is Ukraine ambassador to the U.S. and since 2019, women have assumed more roles in Parliament and the President’s cabinet. A 74 year old woman reportedly was learning how to use weapons so that she could defend her community in the invasion of her country.

Women are freedom fighters. Their leadership globally demonstrates hope, love for family, and love for truth and freedom. Celebrating International Women’s Day Everyday.