The Prime Minister, our local MP, even the Headteacher of her Primary School is a woman yet when you are three years old, the burdens of gender inequality don’t and shouldn’t really have any bearing on your life. Instead it’s for me and her mom to worry about giving her every opportunity in life; to have access to experiences and for anything to be a possibility for her irrespective of her gender.
It’s incredible to consider by 2016, that less than half of the countries in the world had achieved gender parity for girls in primary and secondary education. Staggeringly, only 29% of the world’s researchers are women under represented in fields of science and technology – the world’s growing industries and arguably our future. Nearly two thirds of the world’s illiterate population are women and this has remained the same for two decades. It will be no surprise then that woman make up two thirds of the world’s poorest citizens. So, while I can’t make a huge impact sitting here in Staffordshire from my social media soapbox, what I can do is to make sure that the future of my girls is significant. That they feel valued and loved and empowered to do all of the things that girls of their age born into different circumstances can’t readily do.
I can help to make a difference by growing the knowledge of my girls so that they don’t feel that things are impossible for them. So when the Little Lady grabs for the plastic representations of what women ‘should be’ today, instead we’ll watch the eggs hatching on youtube and we’ll add baking powder to a bottle of fizzy pop and watch the explosion and talk about things that she can investigate to build her enquiring mind and to help her to discover the wonders of the world that lay around her and ahead of her.
Read more about International Women’s Day 2017 at www.unesco.org.uk