For International Women’s Day 2018, the Washington Post highlighted the efforts of five women activists — from the U.K. to India — who are dedicating their lives, if not risking them, to help advance the rights and political power of women. It is a worthy and inspiring read, with the account of 75-year-old Canan Arin of Turkey especially standing out in my mind:
“Every day, it is getting worse and worse and worse,” she said. “I come from a generation that believed women and men are equal before the law. But I realized that we are not equal, that we have never been equal.”
Arin founded one of Turkey’s first women’s shelters, the Purple Roof Women’s Foundation, in 1990. And she has also helped reform parts of the Turkish penal code, which she said took “a feudal approach to women.”
Her advocacy has also put her in the crosshairs, and prosecutors have charged her with slander against Turkish officials, as well as the prophet Muhammad. But she remains undeterred.
When asked how long she would continue her work, she responded: “Until I die.”
With courage and gumption like that, shared by millions of women around the world, I have a lot of hope for the future.