International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a turbulent time in the world when there was a combined boom in population, industrial technology, and the urgent fight for individual rights.

In 2013, women are still fighting for equality and paying dearly for challenging the status quo.

There is the story of Malala Yousafzai recovering after the Taliban shot her in the head for being an advocate for girls education, the Billion Rising movement on Valentine’s day that found new energy in India after the tragic gang rape in Delhi, or more recently, the spotlight on violence against women in South Africa in the wake of the tragic murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

But I want to share this amazing TED Talk by Sunitha Krishnan, who has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimillion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives.  She is galvanizing India’s battle against sexual slavery by uniting government, corporations and NGOs to end human trafficking.  Please check it out if you have the chance.

Funniest sarcastic crack about IWD that I’ve read so far:

“Remember to mention that you’re a woman, and you can get a discount of anywhere from 5 to 42 percent off your paycheck compared with your male colleagues, depending on what field you work in! Actually, this happens every day.” From Alexandra Petri’s ComPost blog.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally  to try to make every day as bright, equal, safe and rewarding for girls and women as it is for boys and men.  It matters.