Once a year (I’m pretty sure it is only once) there comes a time when it is acceptable, and even encouraged, to stop and think about how women have made a difference to society since (for some, long perhaps before) their emancipation.
“International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.” — www.internationalwomensday.com
Make a Pledge For Parity is a campaign to help stabilise the world gender view. Gender inequality isn’t always ‘in yer face’ or belligerent. It’s also indirect, subtle and even unintentional.
I strongly believe that this doesn’t have to be the case, but it will take some time to smoothe out the creases and settle the feathers. My pledge for parity is to help women and girls achieve their ambitions.
Exactly how, is not an applied science, but I can start with my own teenage daughters. They have contrasting dreams though they are both standing out in sports, arts and academia. One has an eye on Computer Engineering and already a STEM candidate aged 14, the other on Politics and Human Rights Law with a winning streak in school debating. Both have a penchant for acting, singing and dancing.
I could learn a lot from how I help my girls to achieve their ambitions and apply that to other groups. But do I wait to see if I’ve succeeded before I head out into the world to help people I haven’t met yet? In short, no. I would learn quicker by applying wherever and whenever possible; a local sports team, a running club, networking events, mentoring. There are women and girls all around us, and some of them will need a nudge every now and then, just as I do.
I can be a nudge.
My Fierce Mind challenge – running a rather long way for 5 mental health charities – is also about bringing equality to the sporting industry. It is only a minute step, but it’s my part in the grand scheme of things, and it really does all add up over time. The movement for mental health is in full swing and only just beginning, the movement for parity has been underway for some time, even by my ancestors before me, and I must do my part.