To some, today means Tuesday. To others, it means Mardi Gras... Fat Tuesday... or Spring Break. In Haiti, today is Women's Day. Today we recognize the women of the world. The mothers, sisters, nieces, and daughters. Today, the women of Espwa celebrated with our sisters in the Les Cayes prison.
Bearing gifts of lotion, soap, and sanitary napkins, myself, Linda, our child care director Bernonie, and a team of young college girls from North Carolina loaded up our vehicle to celebrate the life of Woman. Our friend from the UN, Danielle, and a Les Cayes policewoman were able to arrange a small "party"- juice and an hour and a half outside of their cell- to honor the women incarcerated. It was a moment of solidarity. Led by an inmate with the face of an angel, we sang, danced, presented our gifts, and Bernonie gave a speech worth remembering:
"...Today is our day. Today, all women unite. The merchant women in the streets carrying baskets of fruit... The women at home caring for their children... the women working desk jobs... the teachers, the police officers, the prisoners. Today, we are one. Today, we remember our rights. Our rights that allow us to never be defeated. Our rights that give us the power to speak our minds. Our rights that will let nobody take advantage of us. Our right to say no. Today we gather together. Today is our day..."
Today, we weren't American women, Canadian UN women, Haitian policewomen, and Incarcerated women.
Today, we were just women.
Today, we were one.