Today, 8th March 2016, is international women’s day. All day.
The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133. (source: International Women’s day)
This years campaign encourages us all to #pledgeforparity. Bringing closer a time where women and men are at a level pegging.
You can pledge in many different ways here. Whether you pledge to encourage women and girls to strive for their dreams, pledge to make a stand for more balanced leadership or pledge to help rid society of their sub-conscious sexism.
Each of us can help to make a marked difference that could be seen in our children’s lifetime, if we all shout loud enough.
We are lucky enough to have a voice and a voice that can be heard.
We have a duty to use that voice to advocate for those too young or those who are oppressed and unable to do so for themselves.
Women and Men are not equal. From the day you hold your new baby in your arms whether they are a boy or a girl will affect their life from the outset.
It may start small, it may seem insignificant, but to a child they are building their self-image all the time and it will stick with them.
A girl who is told to ‘let the strong boys carry that’ may go into adulthood believing herself to be weak, a boy who is told to ‘be nice to the little girl’ whilst being encouraged to play rough with the boys instead may grow up viewing women as incapable allies.
So, as I pledge to rid myself of those sub-conscious stereotypes and in turn help others do the same, I’m starting with the biggest influence I have. Teaching my children there is no stronger sex, there is no genetic predisposition that boys like science and fixing things and girls like fairy tales and all that sparkles.
Girls can and do. They can lead and create and be great thinkers and problem solvers.
Listen to what you are telling your children, directly and indirectly. Give your girls the knowledge and tools to go into the world and strive for their dreams whatever they may be and give your boys the skills they need to support and empower, not challenge them.
I was 5 when I first heard ‘Wannabe’ and while I sang all the words completely oblivious to their meaning it started something in me. They started something in me, Girl Power is as real now as it was then.
Each and every girl has power but we (men and women) are most powerful when we all stand together.