It always strikes me on days like this that we need to be talking about the future women in our lives. The women who aren’t women yet. The ones who we want the world will be different for. The ones who are nowhere near being women yet but are babies, toddlers, girls and early teens. It’s them we need to be influencing, and of course part of that is celebrating the amazing women out there, recognising them, making them visible and showing girls they can be whatever they want to be. I am a big subscriber to ‘it’s very hard to be what you can’t see’ or indeed don’t know about.
But we also need to look at the everyday, the things we talk about, the way we describe girls, the messages we give them. If you constantly tell someone they are going to fall, inevitably they are going to fall and worse they won’t push themselves to try because they already believe the outcome will be, that they will fall.
If we continue to expose our girls to the gender stereo-types that we see everyday, if we continue to value their looks from the moment they are born above their abilities and strength, if we continue to refer to all strong characters in books (even when they are unisex characters) as ‘he’, we fail to harness their talents, their power and their possibilities.
Yes, we need to celebrate the fantastic women, talk about women in history that created change, and those who are creating change now. But we need to look at the here and now, the today, the language, the messages – it’s these that need to change if we want to make a difference. And it’s something we can all do, little by little, conscious word by conscious word
So let’s start changing that today, push for equality in babies not just adults. It’s there that we can truly make a difference.
Here’s to the next generation of amazing women. Cheers and Happy International Women’s Day.
Image credit: Photo by Gabriela Braga on Unsplash