“Nevertheless, she persisted.”

This quote from Sen. Mitch McConnell is now my rallying cry! And it fits, as I come from a long line of resisting and persisting women!

In 1881, my great-grandmother, Nora, resisted sexual abuse in her home when, at age 11, she secretly traveled by train to live with an aunt miles away.

In the 1930s, in resistance to regulations that would not allow the exporting of whole cloth and clothing without high duty fees, my grandmothers rolled fabric strips into bandages and cut cloth into squares to send to destitute villages across the world.

In the 1960s, my mother traveled to Native American reservations to learn their issues. She persisted in educating folks in rural America by sharing their stories.

In 1973, I resisted administrative obstacles and established a women’s health clinic on a college campus where no women’s health care was available.

I have three daughters; a farmer, a nurse and a social worker. Each, in her own way, persists in improving the lives of people in her family and the community.

Now, I have a granddaughter. More than ever, I see the need to persist to create a world where her voice is heard, her pay is equal to a man’s, violence will not threaten her safety, and discrimination will not occur simply because she is female.

On Wednesday, when International Women’s Day is celebrated globally, I will celebrate all the past women resisters and persisters and feel solidarity with all who work for women’s rights.

Marcia Mullen

Poland