Mumifesto: what I'd like to see on International Women's Day 2020 and 2040
A few years back I was at an event where female leaders came together with politicians to aim for 50/50 by 2020. Their goal was to work towards a Wales that has a gender balance in decision making to reflect our society.
Women make up just over 50% of the population, and whilst many of the pledges made in this campaign were achieved, we still have a way to go to reach equal decision making in Wales.
But why does it matter?
It’s fair and democratic. Women make up half the population, surely we deserve to make up half of those who lead the decisions made about us?
It’s about our experience. If 50% of those in medical research were female do you think they would’ve coined the term ‘geriatric mother’ for those pregnant and over 35?
Our voices and views are not being heard. The proof is in the pudding, when there are more women in the debating chamber issues like childcare, equal pay and domestic violence are raised more often.
Who are our leaders? It’s not a new concept that we follow role models, if our daughters cant see anyone like them in positions of power will they be attracted to these roles? Check out this cute video from Inspiring the Future to open your eyes.
Last week I talked to many women who had declined offers to participate in events, sit on panels, giving talks to inspire other women as part of a celebration of International Women’s Day. They declined because the offers were all unpaid. It is wonderful to be in the privileged position where you can give your time for free, but that isn’t the reality for the majority of women.
When the bank takes payment in the currency of ‘profile raising’ and Instagram likes I’m sure many more of us would say yes! The problem with only having voices of those who are privileged to give up their time for free? Go back to the bullet points, it means that we lose the voices of those whose experience is different.
International Women’s Day to isn’t just the chance to tell my children that it doesn’t matter if they are boys or girls, they can achieve what they want in life. It’s also about showing them about wider differences, and that difference is something they should celebrate and work towards.
In 2040, I want to see an IWD when both my son and daughter feel it’s equally important to celebrate, and to see panels with speakers that come from all parts of society. Disabled women, care experienced women, young women, older women, BAME women, working women, women carers, women with children, women without children, LGBT women, trans women.
Did you talk to your children about International Women’s Day?