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Celebrating and Creating: A Women's Centenary To Remember

Another woman who shares my name (Rachel) is in labor tonight as I write. For her, it is already tomorrow (she lives on the East coast). She is giving birth to her second child (a girl). Her son's birthday is/was today and he shares that birthday with his aunt (my friend and blogging pal, Amy). This is also the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. It is an amazing day to be a woman doing what we do best (creating life). My prayers as I write are for Rachel.

I was also blessed enough to be able to partake of an amazing tribute to today to women. My employer, Cisco, held a day-long reception sponsored by Cisco Connected Women and Xerox. Large portraits of 45 women were on display to celebrate today's amazing centenary:  the first International Women's Day event was run in 1911. They were photographs of amazing women throughout history. The choices of women who were included and not included in the exhibit was as interesting and as worthy of discussion as the women themselves. And discuss we did.

Amy had me and other friends for dinner to celebrate her birthday and reflect on the women included in the exhibit. Between cake and dinner and afterward, we Googled who these fascinating women were. The most mysterious story we happened upon was that of Henrietta Lacks' immortal cancer cells. You can read more of her amazing story here.

Here are the names of all 45 who had photographs included in the exhibit:
Ursula Burns, Wilma Mankiller, Benazir Bhuto, Ellen Lauri Ochoa, Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, Wangari Maathai, Helen Keller, Marian Wright Edelman, Sonia Sotomayor, Harriet Tubman, Nadine Gordimer, Mae Jemison, Indra Nooyi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Coco Chanel, Margaret Thatcher, Grace Murray Hopper, Aung San Suu Kyi, Indira Nehru Gandhi, Bessie Coleman, Frida Kahlo, Kristy Yamaguchi, Marie Sklodowski Curie, Billie Jean Moffitt King, "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, Shirley Ann Jackson, Amelia Earhart, Golda Mabovich Meir, Jane Addams, Mother Teresa, Michelle Robinson Obama, Princess Diana, Michelle Wingshan Kwan, Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova, Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller, Henrietta Lacks, Evita Peron, Michelle Bachelet, Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya, Queen Rania of Jordan, and finally Calafia, a fictional warrior queen.

In addition to Rachel, my thoughts tonight are with the women of Egypt who bravely attempted a Million Woman March.  I was sort of afraid this would happen, but I cannot be sure of all that did happen from behind the CNN lens.

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