My husband, Rodney had a knack of being humorous, gracious, giving and satirical all at the same time.
International Women’s Day is tomorrow, March 8. Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for the internationalwomensday.com global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.
Memories flooded my mind as I remembered celebrating women here in Kansas City in 1985. That year the UN International Women’s Conference in Nairobi was held to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace. It was convened at a time when the movement for gender equality had finally gained true global recognition. Many described this event as “the birth of global feminism”.
This International Women’s Conference in Nairobi inspired a group of Kansas City women to host a National Conference of Women in Kansas City. I served on the planning committee and met many women who I truly admired throughout my life.
To participate in the Kansas City Conference I invited eight of my long-time girlfriends from across the country to attend. We planned a weekend slumber party at my house. We added some make-shift housing of rented beds. As I remember two or three women even slept in our (unfinished) basement.
The Conference sessions were all we could have hoped for. At the time Maureen Reagan served our nation as a representative to the United Nations so she seemed a great choice for key note speaker. Breakout groups provided plenty of time for sharing and discussion.
What I remember most clearly, however is that after a long day of inspirational speeches and breakout groups we returned to our house tired but stimulated.
Rodney met us at the door resplendent in his tux and graciously greeted each of us . We flopped down on the couch and chairs in front of the roaring fireplace and slipped off our shoes to reflect and remember the day.
To our surprise, Rodney returned to the living room with a towel over his arm and a tray of wine glasses in his hands. As he circled the room serving each woman with his most respectful bow we felt truly honored.