Life begins in a woman (#beboldforchange)
This is the fifth in a series or articles from Dear Chereen’s contributors in honor of International Women’s Day. With the hashtag #beboldforchange, we are highlighting bold women, embracing the power of femininity, and celebrating women all over the world.
Written by: Seada
The foundation of life develops in the womb of a woman. It is here her fetus learns the virtues of protection and security and the importance of connectivity. A woman wraps her arms around her round belly, gently smiling and watching her baby push itself into her soft skin.
فَأَجَاءهَا الْمَخَاضُ إِلَى جِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ قَالَتْ يَا لَيْتَنِي مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْيًا مَّنسِيًّا
“And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. [Mary] cried (in her anguish): “Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!” 
Women, you are the prime example of resilience and strength. Our strength is not conveyed physically; it is found through the ability to endure pain, complemented by nurturance and selfless love, and this strength is our pathway to our Creator.
Fourteen centuries ago, in pre-Islamic Arabia, a female child was seen as an embarrassment to her family and community, and such animosity drove the horrific practice of burying baby girls alive.
But the beauty of a female is the source of life–just as the sun is the source of growth, energy, and power. She is the sun.
Our journeys as women have led us to break many stereotypes. Women are not weak, fragile, overly sensitive, or only made for child bearing. Though we have come along way, the exhaustive battle has not yet ended.
I have learned there is no greater antidote to war than a woman’s devoted, loving presence.
 The Qur’an. Chapter 19, verse 23