My favorite dress is white, knee length, v-neck with lace at the collar. She has a favorite dress, too. My favorite soda is an ice cold Coke in a glass bottle. She has a favorite soda, too. She has a favorite song, with a favorite dance. She has a favorite friend to laugh with and a favorite elder with which she seeks council, just like me. What happened to her was not her fault. She did nothing wrong. She is still beautiful. She was raped by a group of men who took from her. In the midst of her horror, she fled her country and found refuge at a camp in Uganda. There she was given shelter, counseling, food and basic medical help. Due to the physical trauma she endured during the rape, she is currently confined to her home.
She is a stay at home Mom with two little boys. Her husband is a mechanic. She lives in a modest home with an open door where Friday nights people gather to enjoy a pitch in meal. She's been sewing for years. I remember sitting at her kitchen table pummeling her with questions while we pieced together quilts for my children. She is sewing right now.
Today is International Women's Day. As I reflect on these two women I cannot help but pause in awe. The sewing woman will soon bring to my house a delivery of Dignity Project feminine products which I will then take to the post office. They will travel the world and end up in Uganda eventually making their way to the home of our beloved woman in need. With our products and a little help from her friends she will be given a freedom that was once taken from her. She will be able to walk and meander. She'll be able to show off her favorite dress and share her favorite soda with her favorite friend. Women's Day is not just a day for pampering. Today we recognize the fighters whose dignity has been ripped away. Today we fight to give it back.