In Honor of Women Everywhere

March 8, 2022

Happy International Women’s Day! 

Today, we’re celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world, while also recognizing the urgent call to action to accelerate gender equity. 

Why is gender equity important? We put this question to Rise Up Leaders, supporters, and staff in honor of women, girls, and gender non-conforming people everywhere. 

The voices and visions of the people fighting for gender equity in their own communities and countries are what motivates Rise Up to keep moving forward, even in the face of incredible challenges. 

Here’s a selection of powerful responses we hope will inspire you today and into the future. 

Rise Up Leaders

“Porque quiero vivir FELIZ en un mundo donde se reconocen y respetan mis derechos!”

Translation: “I want to live happily in a world where my rights are recognized and respected.

Joany Garcia, Rise Up Leader, Honduras 

As a man, I believe that the only way to achieve success and make progress is through equity and equality for all. When women are empowered, the world will be a better place for all.”

Yusha’u Muhammad Abubakar, Rise Up Leader, Nigeria

“I strongly believe that advancing gender equity is the way forward, when women do better, societies do better.”

Hira Amjad, Rise Up Leader, Pakistan 

“Advancing gender equity is important to me because it ensures my opportunities and fellow women and girls are not limited based on our gender.”

Patience Iribagiza, Rise Up Leader, Rwanda 

“Every girl and every woman is entitled to the right to health. There can be no health equity without gender equity.”

Mahlet Alemayehu Siraga, Rise Up Leader, Ethiopia 

“Advancing gender equity would advance civilization. History and science have already proven it. We’re late.”

Cristal Banagan, Rise Up Leader, U.S. 

“Considero que de esta forma contribuimos a erradicar la normalización de la violencia y la falta de equidad que vivimos las mujeres en todo el mundo. Solo levantando nuestra voz podremos visibilizar y romper las barreras que nos impiden tener una vida en igualdad de oportunidades, por el simple hecho de ser mujeres.”

Translation: “I believe that in this way we contribute to eradicating the normalization of violence and the lack of equity that women experience around the world. Only by raising our voice can we make visible and break the barriers that prevent us from having a life of equal opportunities, for the simple fact of being women.”

Alejandra García Muñiz, Rise Up Leader, Mexico 

“Gender equality prevents violence against women and girls. It’s essential for economic prosperity. Societies that value women and men as equal are safer and healthier. Gender equality is a human right.”

Radhika Sharma, Rise Up Leader, India 

“Gender equity is important to me because it gives us equal opportunity and environment to not only dream, but to achieve our dreams as humans.”

Benjamin Yunana Maigari, Rise Up Leader, Nigeria 

“Es muy importante porque conozco el impacto emocional, económico, patrimonial que las violencias desde sus diferentes tipologías generan en las familias salvadoreñas, violencias que no ser trabajadas terapéuticamente, se replicarán como modelos aceptados socialmente.”

Translation: “It is very important because I know the emotional, economic, patrimonial impact that violence from its different typologies generates in Salvadoran families. Violence that is not worked therapeutically will be replicated as socially accepted models.”

Emilio Pacheco, Rise Up Leader, El Salvador 

“From a country that rose with empowering women (Rwanda), I learned that gender equity is the heart of sustainable social, cultural, and economic transformation.”

Nsabimana Claude, Rise Up Leader, Rwanda 

“Advancing gender equity is essential to building the foundation for a more sustainable world. Entire nations can and will benefit when girls and women are afforded the same resources and opportunities as their male counterparts.”

Alexis Hicks, Rise Up Leader, U.S. 

“Gender equity is really important to me because it contributes to my personal growth and to accomplish our shared dreams as a community, in order to live in a more secure, healthy, peaceful and inspiring world for everyone.”

Minerva de los Ángeles Gallegos Dávalos, Rise Up Leader, Mexico

“[Gender equity] prevents violence against women and girls. It’s essential for economic prosperity. Societies that value women and men as equal are safer and healthier.”

Nomzamo Gcwensa, Rise Up Leader, South Africa 

“Advancing gender equity is core to realizing human rights for all. It’s essential for people from diverse genders to realize their potential and ambitions completely and live a healthy life with dignity.”

Sushmita Mukherjee, Rise Up Leader, India

Rise Up Supporters

“My grandmothers, mother and aunt personified how gender equity makes a difference and taught me its value. I would like my granddaughters and the next generations of girls and women to take gender equity even further and make the world a better place for all genders.”

Purnima Mane, Rise Up Leadership Council member

“I feel women, like Angela Merkel of Germany and Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, who have been great leaders of their countries have contributed a great deal of good in the world. More women like them would change the course of history. Gender equity is critical to achieve this.”

Nancy Wolfberg, Rise Up Leadership Council Member 

“Women contribute more than their share to life, to work, to family to others. We are a powerful force and can be more powerful when truly recognized. I have a daughter who is brilliant. I want her to be recognized for her brilliance in the same way–all the ways–that men are.”

Loretta Stagnitto, Rise Up Leadership Council Member

Rise Up Staff

“At Rise Up, we’re building power with local leaders as part of a global movement for gender equity. We do this work so that our families, communities, and countries can reach their full potential.”

Denise Raquel Dunning, PhD, Rise Up Founder & Executive Director 

“Advancing gender equity is important to me because it will allow us as a society to examine and (most importantly) remedy the injustices women and other marginalized genders have faced that prevents us from having equal access to opportunities and resources across all facets of our lives.”

Rahwa Hassen, Rise Up Program Coordinator 

“For me, gender equity means centering the needs of the most marginalized people so that people of all genders can come on to a more level playing field in the world. Gender equity paves the way for gender justice, because when we notice and address gaps in the way we treat people of different genders at home, at work, in school, and on the street, we move towards a healthier, wealthier, and happier world where everyone thrives.”

Josie Ramos, Rise Up Director of Learning and Programs 

“Promover la equidad de género por que es el camino para acabar con los llamados estereotipos de género, creencias socialmente construidas sobre lo que ‘deben’ ser y el rol social que ‘deberían’ desempeñar los hombres y las mujeres, de acuerdo con su sexo. Es esencial en todos los ámbitos de una sociedad sana.”

Translation: “Promote gender equality because it is the way to end the so-called gender stereotypes, socially constructed beliefs about what ‘should’ be and the social role that men and women ‘should’ play, according to their sex. It is essential in all areas of a healthy society.”

Emerita Valdez, Rise Up Honduras Representative 

“I want my daughter Marjan to grow up in a world where her gender is seen as an advantage, not as a weakness.”

Claudia Romeu, Rise Up Senior Program Director 

“Gender equity is important so that women can reach their full potential to raise strong and resilient families.”

Jo Ann Hunter, Rise Up Executive Administrative Assistant 

“Advancing gender is important to me because I want to see communities where all forms of injustice and violence that inhibit women’s development are completely eradicated. Women and girls need to be treated fairly in all situations and given opportunities based on their needs to reach their full potential and equally contribute to the development of the society.”

Theresa Effa, Rise Up Nigeria Country Director 

Porque es un derecho humano, es importante promoverlo porque somos capaces y nos merecemos las mismas oportunidades. Sin la equidad de genero o sin las mujeres, no hay desarrollo sostenible.

Translation: “Because it is a human right, it is important to promote it because we are capable and deserve the same opportunities. Without gender equity or women, there is no sustainable development.”  

Veronica Buch Siquinajay, Rise Up Guatemala Country Representative

“When I think about my own life, my grandmother’s life, my daughter’s life, and the many girls and women across countries that Rise Up works with, I’m struck by both the progress and the harsh realities that still exist. We can do better! And we will.”

Kaitlin Chandler Brooks, Rise Up Associate Director of Development and External Affairs