Please let me introduce myself. My name is Kathy Patikan RN, MSN. I work in a healthcare leadership role, one that helps people and promotes wellness in a rural community. I believe strongly in the power of people, coming together to make a difference.
As we move into the week of Thanksgiving, I have been thinking about the way women bear the work of family, day in and day out. Thinking of how they do so, even as gratitude and thankfulness may not be shown by others, to those whose work we too often take for granted. In this article I want to express thoughtful gratitude for all the women out there, doing what needs to be done despite consistently facing barriers of many kinds.
I had been thinking that at this time of Thanksgiving, we would be welcoming our first female president – in joyful reassurance that sexism had not been an issue in our election process. That dream did not come to fruition. But I can say that I am honored by Hillary Clinton, working so hard for women and children’s issues for decades – not only in the United States, but internationally. “We need to break down barriers that hold women back…what’s good for women is good for America (Clinton, 2016).” I extend a heartfelt sincere thank you to Secretary Clinton, for moving women forward in so many ways.
As women, we find ways to accomplish many things, even when times are difficult. I am amazed that women continue to strive for excellence, even as many do not receive the same pay as our male counterparts. Inequality in pay rates is not a way to reward, or to demonstrate thanks for the same job done by women. “Gender pay gaps persist around the world, including in the United States. According to public information collected by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the global gender pay gap ranges from 3 percent to 51 percent with a global average of 17 percent (International Trade Union Confederation, 2009).” These issues should not be glossed over as normal, as we think about the status of women in today’s global markets.
Another issue demanding our attention is this: how do we cope with impending change by the incoming president-elect Trump? How do we persevere, when before us is a president-elect who shows no respect for women? We have the opportunity to rise to the challenge, by protecting those without a clear voice in our ever-changing world. This includes the less fortunate, mentally ill, children, and survivors of abuse – all feeling terrified to brave a new world of power in the highest office before us. Despite all the obstacles we face, women stand proud for every aspect of what humanity stands for – in a world that, at times, seems to have forgotten the importance of being grateful to each other.
Never stop believing in our transformation, to improve the world around us by transcending obstacles. We can, and we must make a difference for all – in our quest to bring humanness to the table for equality, women’s rights, children’s rights, support of the LBGT community, immigrants, and the impoverished.
The Women’s March on Washington, Saturday, January 21, 2017 http://www.womensmarch.org is a wonderful way to exhibit our solidarity. “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country (Women’s March, 2016).”
This is a new day in women’s issues, one that will require diligence and action to move forward. Coming together is our strength. Unity in diversity, honoring humanity, and dignity for justice on the issues – this is the way to move forward in these uncertain times. These are challenges that cannot be ignored, as we give thanks for all we have and all that we must advocate – in a movement to resist regression in our society. Thank you to all of the women and men doing what needs to be done, for the goodness of all. If we believe that we can make a difference, we can and we will.
Clinton, H. (2016). Women’s rights and opportunity. Retrieved from
International Trade Union Confederation. (2009). Gender (In)Equality in the Labour Market: An Overview of
Global Trends and Developments. Brussels. Retrieved from:
Women’s March (2016). Women’s March on Washington. Retrieved from http://www.womenmarch.org