Friday, March 07, 2008

International Women's Day

This week, together with 580 + women I celebrated International Women’s Day. The keynote speaker at this event was Deborah Ellis, author of numerous books for children, many of which describe the plight of women and children in war-torn countries.

When Deborah wrote her first book, The Breadwinner, it was doing well and she was so moved by what was happening in Afghanistan that she decided to donate the royalties from this book to support women there. Then 9/11 happened and suddenly her book is a best seller and is translated into numerous languages and sold around the world.

Adding two more books to this series, she continued to donate the royalties and to date she has raised over $500,000 as a result. Now she is no Bill Gates. As she stood before the audience in her jeans and sweater, it was clear this was an ordinary individual, showing extraordinary generosity. In addition to writing about the conditions in these countries, she has chosen to take action, to do something about it.

I applaud her generosity. She is clearly someone who has made choices on how she wants to live her life and she is doing so with purpose and intent .

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