This week saw 2017’s International Women’s Day, and the campaign message #beboldforchange, encouraging all women to be bolder, stronger and more powerful in all spheres of their lives.
An incredibly empowering message that got me thinking how my generation could follow on from those before us, and then further empower the next to continue to drive for human rights and equality not just for women but for everyone.
I’m a firm believer that any conflict resolution requires both parties to be active and engaged in the debate and campaign in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties. Therefore, I believe change will only come about from the actions of men and women together.
Furthermore, change in social attitudes I believe begins at home from parental and family influences, and our peer groups.
I was lucky having grown up in the 70s and 80s, to have witnessed both my parents and in particular my mum go out to work, and for it to be considered perfectly normal and acceptable for her to do so, no longer were dads considered to be the only bread winners.
This also meant that as both my parents worked and as nurses for the NHS – yes my dad was a nurse – the chores in our family home were shared equally. It was nobody’s ‘job’ to cook or clean or babysit even, we all chipped in and did our bit as a family, kids included.
We were told we could achieve anything if we worked hard and put our minds to it, and never once were my sister and I told we would have to work even harder because we were women. We were all, my brother included, supported and championed in whatever choices we made and have continued to make.
What’s resulted from this, for me in particular, is a belief that nobody is better at doing any task in life simply because of their sex or gender! If you work hard then equally you can achieve anything, male or female, the fact that I’m a woman has never held me back or stopped me from starting something new, taking risks or the things I’ve achieved to date.
My parents raised a strong, independent, career minded, not just woman but individual.
These attitudes I grew up with now exist in the family home I share with my husband and our young daughter. It’s important to both of us that she’s raised with the same values and beliefs that we grew up with. She’ll see both her parents going to work, both her parents working together in our home, both her parents raising her equally, both parents showing love and respect for each other.
She’ll be taught about shared roles and responsibilities and to not accept anything less.
This is where I believe change can happen, only be altering society’s belief in the roles of women and men can we really achieve equality.
Only by educating our daughters and sons what is acceptable behaviour when it comes to sex and gender can we achieve equality.
Only by educating our daughters and sons what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace can we achieve equality.
Only by educating our daughters and sons that it’s ok to stand up for what they believe in, and to speak out when they witness someone being wronged can we achieve equality.
Only by educating our daughters and sons what is acceptable behaviour in love and relationships can we achieve equality.
Finally, only by standing and coming together as one collective voice, male and female, women and men, fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, husbands and husbands, wives and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, friends and colleagues can we truly achieve equality.
Be bolder, be stronger, be more powerful in all spheres of your life, men and women, women and men together.
Until next time #eventprofs…