““There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.” These were the words of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, known as the father of Pakistan, who died in 1948.
Sixty-five years on, we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 to pay tribute to all women across the world of every colour, of every religion. US First Lady Michelle Obama will award ten women with the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award and recipients this year include a Tibetan poet, a Syrian human rights lawyer and a Somali peace activist among other fearless women striving against adversity and/or oppression.
But the strength of which Jinnah spoke is particularly abundant among the women of the Romani communities whose determination to succeed against not only racial but sexist stereotyping is an inspiration to women everywhere.”