by Cindy Domingo
International Women’s Day (IWD) always reminds me of my sister, Eileen Nelson, an older African American woman who was a grocery clerk and long time Seattle resident working in Seattle’s Central Area. The year was 1999 and the place was Havana, Cuba. Eileen and I were on a national delegation hosted by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), an international women’s peace organization that has worked for over 60 years to end the US blockade against Cuba.
The day after we arrived in Havana was International Women’s Day and everywhere we went we were greeted with “Happy International Women’s Day,” flowers, songs, smiles and hugs. Two women from our delegation were even walking later that night along the Malecon (Havana’s sea wall) when they were approached by a Havana policeman. Surprising the fearful women, the policeman also said with a smile, “Happy International Women’s Day!” We ended that second day in Cuba feeling proud of who we were as women and the contributions that women globally have accomplished.
However, Eileen also said something then that has remained with me over these two decades. She said to the Cuban women, “Why did I have to come all the way to Cuba to find out about International Women’s Day, especially since its beginnings had to do with women workers killed in the U.S.?”Continue reading OPINION: Regaining a Better World for Our Women and Children