It’s Mother’s Day, and as I sit here drinking my coffee and browsing through my Twitter feed, I’m reminded of the amazing role mothers play around the world. I was struck in particular by this post from Karl van Oosterom, Permanent Representative to the UN from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. These pictures are a stark reminder that Mother’s Day is more than Sunday brunches and flowers. It’s a day to reflect on the sacrifices mothers around the world make each day.
A while back I wrote a piece called The New Peace Revolutionaries, where I looked at the unique role women play in peacekeeping. At the time, I focused on protests against rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the crucial involvement of women in conflict resolution in Liberia. These women showed a strength their communities didn’t expect from them, achieving goals many thought impossible.
As I follow the #BringBackOurGirls movement online, I can’t help but see that same spark in the women of Nigeria. I see a group that has no intention of backing down, and a government that perhaps underestimates the lengths these mothers will go to in order to bring their children home. They can threaten and arrest leaders of this protest movement, but my guess is it will not deter them from their mission.
On this Mother’s Day, I encourage you to celebrate mothers around the world and the sacrifices they make each day. Thank your own mother, but also show your support for the mothers who are fighting each day to give their children the opportunity for a safe and happy life.