03/08/2012 08:57 am ET

The Power of Sisterhood

On my path to make my feature documentary Lili's Journey which sets out to celebrate women's passion and determination, I have encountered countless women the world over.

From those who have secured the most enviable places at the top, to those who, try as they might, set out to vehemently shake society at its grassroots.

If I had a tribune I'd proclaim loud and clear, it is time women started to be viewed with different spectacles.

And that while some of us might ruffle some feathers along the way when speaking up about the women's cause, most of us don't aspire to take the place of men.

Though interestingly, at the World Economic Forum last January, Archbishop Desmond Tutu staunchly begged to differ.

In a conversation with Professor Klaus Schwab, he vividly shook the audience with his bold stance on the need for women's leadership in order to ensure a just, a more equitable world.

I am nonetheless compelled by the fact that though many set out with the most magnanimous task to empower women, as outlined in a compelling article in the Guardian this week by Andrea Cornwall, donor policies are yet to succeed in bringing real and sustained change for women.

But for me, this International Women's Day is not a day of breaking my maxed-out brain drive, over the critical synergies needed, in order to drive change for women in a more sustainable and effective way across the golden triangle of corporates, civil society and governments.

No, rather, this International Women's Day is one to celebrate 2 years of working and wandering around the world making Lili's Journey with the most amazing co-pilot, who also happens to be my sister.

The city of Paris being the quintessential place to rejoice in the contribution of women in the world of arts, the Victor Hugo museum in the Marais is holding a special tribute to portrayals of women in literature.

In these cynical times of late when even the most horrendous rapper lyrics, outright incitations to violence against women, receive the coveted "Victoire de la Musique" I seek refuge in the beauty of men who have been truly marked by the women in their lives.

I seek refuge in those whose eye beholds a world where women's uniqueness is celebrated.
I think of Nadine Labaki's film Where Do We Go Now? a glowing tribute to the power of women to transcend the barriers of tradition, often in tandem with religion.

A universal call for human decency which leaves you begging for the question why it does not prevail in the world as we know it.

Yet when we watch its power on the silver screen so compellingly put, its impact is obvious.
It does not fail to move men and women alike to the core.

But above all this Women's Day is a day of gratitude for I think we are nothing without the role models which consciously or less consciously so, have left their imprints on our lives as women. Those who spurred us on to succeed and to never give up. Those who regularly inject us with a much needed motivation jab when you have no choice but to get up and dust yourself off, again.

Those who look at you and see you, even on the days when fear is your middle name and you're bathing in insecurity.

To me that greatest woman of all is my mother, the most relentless yet the kindest, the most wise yet the most humble of all. This life alone is not enough to be her daughter.

My thoughts on this day go out to my dear friends whose greatest role model has gone too soon... Lubna, Natalie, Stefania, Veronique and countless others...Irreplaceable mothers live on in your hearts of hearts. They've set up shop there, forever.