A Message for Women around the World

Happy International Women's Day!

I was listening to Oprah's Super Soul Sunday Podcast this morning, while answering emails and organizing my day. She was speaking with Dr. Maya Angelou, and one thing she said (well, everything she says has this impact) caused me to pause and think of the community of women Collective Humanity serves.

So much of the time, running a business, especially a start up, can feel like an isolating task. Ever since my first trip to Cambodia, I felt daunted by the task of authentically representing the struggles of the women I work with, and sharing their stories in a way that felt dignified. Who was I to speak for a community I didn't belong to? How would I ever be able to truly represent who they are and how they've touched my life? 

Through this journey, I have come to realize something unexpected...

While I may not relate to growing up in a small remote village with little access to the outside world, in a society that doesn't value my place or recognize my worth... I can relate to facing adversity, and fighting like hell to get through it. I connect with these women through their strength of spirit... on how they still get up day after day, and do what needs to be done to take care of their families. I see myself in their resilience and how despite incredible adversity, they still manage to find joy, laughter, and hope. I have come to realize our stories, our upbringing, our culture, our skin color, and our socioeconomic status may all vary, but we are all united by something much greater. We are all phenomenal women. I don't think I understood the true power of what it meant to be a woman, until I began to see that magic and strength in their eyes. It was through them, that I began to see it in myself.

Dr. Maya Angelou said, "I come as one, I stand as 10,000."

It struck me what a powerful and TRUE message this is for every woman around the world to hear. So, I felt compelled to send a note to the women we work with in Cambodia, and I wanted to share it with our supporters and community members here, as well. It goes for all of us, as women. My note is shared below. 

You, I, we all, are the prayers of the women that came before us. While it may feel you have an unbearably long way to go, you do not walk this path alone. YOU are the hope for the next generation of women in your country, in your village, and in your family. You are already a miracle. You are living proof of the power of prayer, hard work, strong will, and perseverance. Despite how you feel in moments of weakness, You ARE the definition of an empowered woman. You need not seek to become, for you are already are. You are strong, and you are brave. Your past does not define you, but rather, your strength to overcome. Whether you all realize it or not, YOU are creating a better future for women around the world, because you refuse to accept what society has told you about your worth, and instead, insist on defining it for yourself. You have inspired me and will inspire the next generation of women in your country to be brave, graceful, joyful, loving, kind, and empowered women. You came here as one, you stand as 10,000. 
Never forget that. <3
— Kate Davis, Executive Director
Kate Davis