My 2.5-year-old niece is at the best age right now. She is so curious, fun and sweet. She’s developing into a little person with particular likes and dislikes, and she isn’t shy about telling you exactly how she feels about something.

International Women’s Day gives me a moment to reflect on being an aunt and all of the hopes and dreams I have for my niece Emmie.

I hope that she continues to develop into this amazing person in a world where her gender won’t ever be a hinderance to her.

I hope that she is free to choose a career path that fulfills her and that she is never held back because she wants to become a mother or because she wants to find a balance in her life. I hope she’s never sidelined at work because she is a woman.

I also hope that she never has to deal with mean girls and bullying the way I have during my life.

I would do anything to protect her against that as would her parents and grandparents. As she grows up she will make good and bad decisions, and we will be there to catch her when she falls and cheer her on no matter what.

I hope the women of my generation have and will continue to do a good enough job of paving a path for Emmie and her friends so they won’t have to deal with some of the challenges we did.

One thing is certain, she will grow up thinking it is normal for a woman – and a woman of color – to be the Vice President of the United States – and that is pretty darn amazing.

Happy International Women’s Day. Together we are stronger.