While women in Egypt fight for the right to drive, while Somali women face famine, rape and violence to care for their children, while Palestinian and Israeli women work for peace, while religious women around the world seek the right to ecclesiastical power, and while women internationally Take Back the Night, let us all exercise and celebrate the core rights We Women of the World must attend to, nurture, and assert:
I have the right:
To fully, freely be who I am without approval or permission from anyone.
To become all that I am meant to be, to live into who I am, and to attain full freedom of spirit no matter the limitations in my life.
To love myself first, a necessary preparation for genuinely loving others.
To ask for clarity about whatever causes uncertainty within my relationships.
To be free of emotional responsibility for other people’s choices and moods.
To reinvent myself as many times as I wish and at any age.
To feel proud of my accomplishments whether they are noticed by anyone else or not.
To establish and hold boundaries that create physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing for myself.
To protect myself from physical, emotional and spiritual harm.
To own my strength and power, without apologies.
To fully and freely embrace the emotions that arise in me, to own them as mine, to express them skillfully, or choose to not express them at all.
To joyously carry within me my intrinsic value regardless of societal and cultural preferences and rewards.
To ask for what I need and to gratefully accept the help and support that is offered.
To make my own decisions, set my own course in life, and be productive.
To be wrong, to make a mistake, to change my mind or to say, “I don’t know.”
To feel and look sexy no matter my size, shape, or age.
To see myself clearly even when others can’t or won’t.
To receive and enjoy all of the fruits and privileges of my efforts in work and relationship.
To have an opinion about anything and everything.
To take care of my needs for sleep, food, movement and quiet, and all things that support my health and continued growth.
To physical and material privacy, to private thoughts and feelings, and to choose with whom and how I will share what is private.
To recognize my unique forms of intelligence and wisdom and trust that they are worthy of respect in the universe of other forms.
To respect my vision of relationship, decide what I will and will not accept in a partner, and negotiate my best outcome.
To let go of the conditioned expectations of achieving perfection and recognize that there is no end to the mystery of what I can discover and become within myself and within the world.
When we exercise, assert, and celebrate our rights we benefit all women. In the words of Elizabeth Blackwell, who broke new ground as the first woman in the U.S. to become a physician, "For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women."