International Women’s Day: Why This Woman Showed Up for Work

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the unique contributions of women to society.

I first became aware of this holiday in 2014, when I was studying abroad in Italy; in Assisi, my fellow students and I saw men giving women flowers, and our guide explained that this was a traditional custom to show appreciation for women in a non-romantic way.  A shopkeeper presented me with a small bouquet; I was touched by this thoughtful tribute to my femininity, coming from a complete stranger.

Today, when I logged in to Twitter for work (I am a counselor and social media coordinator for a crisis pregnancy clinic in Kansas City, Kansas) I saw the hashtag #InternationalWomen’sDay trending.  I also saw the hashtag #ADayWithoutAWoman and, having previously seen on social media how women were planning to stay home from work today to prove how important women are to America’s workforce, I logged into my personal twitter account during my lunch break to see what it was all about.

What I took away was that women were urged to stay home or go to rallies wearing red, not just to protest for equal treatment in the workplace, but also to support a woman’s right to abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism.  The Statue of Liberty had even turned off her lights to stand in solidarity with the cause.  I was saddened to see that a day which I had experienced so beautifully in another country had become so degraded in my homeland- a day which is supposed to celebrate women turned into a day which supports the killing of them in the womb and denying their basic identity.

Yesterday I and the rest of our all-female staff showed up to work because we serve women, born and unborn.  We conducted pregnancy tests and sonograms, counseled, and answered phones as we always do, giving the gift of our presence, our strength, our tenderness, and our nurturing nature.

We rejoiced with mothers who were happy to be pregnant and encouraged those who were facing a crisis pregnancy.  Perhaps, because of our work today, a woman will be born who might otherwise have never been given the chance to live outside the womb.

I personally think this is a more fitting tribute to the value of womankind than staying home from work.  No matter what our profession is, when we choose to engage in work which promotes human dignity by supporting human life, we are doing God’s work, because He is the Author of Life.

At the same time, however, a woman must realize that her identity comes, not from her work, however noble, but from her identity as a child of God created in his image, whether she be a stay-at-home mom or a CEO.

Women are by nature givers of life, and by truly supporting the dignity of our fellow women we can bring a culture of life back to America.


Photo: Courtesy of Kathryn Brown.

Support the Gregorian Institute,  Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).

Kathryn Brown