International Women’s Day 2022
After I recorded this very peppy greeting for you the day before International Women’s Day, I remembered that it is the one-year anniversary of the passing of one of my aunts in Argentina, my Tía Doris. In honor of the international woman who raised me, it is fitting for me to share with you a little bit about her.
Doris was my father’s baby sister – he was heartbroken that she passed away before him. At the age of 79, she died of a less common leukemia, which in most people does not progress so rapidly. She left behind a community of friends and family who loved and respected her.
In a beach community called Mar del Plata, on the Atlantic coast in the province of Buenos Aires, she was an elementary school principal for many years. Because of this, you did not mess with my tía Doris! The 3 bedroom condo she and my uncle lived in – where he still lives at the age of 90 – was run like a tight ship.
My three cousins shared one bedroom – the sisters I did not have in my own family. When I visited, I got to become one of them, borrowing their clothes, attending classes with them at their schools, and sleeping squeezed into the one bedroom! (My favorite visits were during my teenage years, when we would go out all night, have breakfast with my aunt, and then go to sleep.)
My professional woman role model
My tía Doris was a professional woman role model, along with my other aunts. I grew up with my mom – a doctor – and aunts who were: a school principal (tía Doris), an architect (tía Adriana), and two dentists (tía Celia and tía Graciela). They were all educated in Argentina, where despite many difficulties, education for both men and women has been highly valued and embraced for many decades.
I believe that educating girls and women can save the world. Countries with higher rates of women and girls’ literacy have lower rates of teen marriage, infant mortality, and fertility overall. Women’s literacy is the basis for women’s empowerment.
A big legacy of educated and empowered women
From now on, International Women’s Day will also be a day of remembrance for me of my tía Doris. I am very fortunate to come from a big legacy of educated and empowered women. On this day, this Women’s History Month, and all year long, I honor the immeasurable contributions of women to my life, to my country, and to the world.