International Women’s Day – what does it mean to you?

Up until recently the subject of women’s liberation has not been something I have thought about at length. 

Is this because it is 2018 and in my lifetime, I have not really had to endure any situations that would cause me an injustice, solely because I am a woman?  

Is this because I have just accepted things the way things are?

Should I be doing more?

Today I have pondered the subject; I have taken time out to think about the wonderful women that surround me and influence me today. 

My mother

Ok, so this might be an obvious choice for a number of you but I chose my Mum not because of how I was brought up. Not because she taught me how to fend for myself or think for myself and be my own person. It is not down to the fact that she looked after me, clothed me, fed me and wiped my arse.

No, the reason I chose my Mum is because for as far back as I can remember she has been THE BOSS. 

Running two companies in a male dominated industry, making decisions that not only had a direct impact on the businesses themselves, but ultimately her family too.  Dealing with chauvinistic arseholes that think because she is a woman that she can be seduced into making a decision or have the wool pulled over her eyes. Having the guts and tenacity to make her voice heard in a male orientated space.  My mum, still to this day, doesn’t take that kind of shit from a man or a woman.  She does all this with intellect, manners, an abundance of grace and a smile.

This attitude has inherently been passed to me but it is not until I see the same strengths in my daughter that it has all become apparent.

"Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude and a lady with class" - Anon

My daughter

9 years old, tough as auld boots with a heart as big as the moon. 

From a young age my daughter has questioned everything, challenged everything.

In religious education in primary one she disagreed that God could be a man insisting that the almighty role could only be carried out by a woman. She had the confidence to share her views even if it was going against the teachers and her peers. I know what you are thinking  ‘precocious little shite’ – far from it; she delivers her views and opinions with manners, forethought and intellect -  since primary one she has even challenged religion itself; creating her own opinions, not following the crowd and making her own mind up.

Her confidence astounds me every single day.

There is nothing she will not tackle, nothing is too hard.

Her Dad is a man who likes to challenge the status quo; it’s one of the many qualities I love about my husband.  With this attitude and the qualities from her gran, she has a good solid foundation to grow into the strong minded woman I know she will be.

My other influences

So, in honour of International Women's Day I asked some of the other amazing woman around me:

“What does international women’s day mean to you?”

Yvonne Stewart

“International Women’s Day” means celebrating my sister, my female friends and myself for all of our individual strengths and life choices.  We’re living in an amazing time to be female but I actually think it’s quite backwards and a shame we need our own “day” to remember how strong and important we are as a sex.  All in all we’re rocking it pretty bloody well!!”

My mother

It is such a pity that such little progress has been made in the last 40 years.

Please refer to Mhairi Black's speech in Westminster.

Men too, should have an opinion on International Women's day as it seems to boil down to the male/female relationship in a lot of ways.

At the end of the day it is hardly a government issue (apart from in their own nest) it is all about respect for each other and respect being taught from an early age.

Sharon Duncan

International Women’s Day to me, means being strong and independent; having, and voicing your own opinion all the while respecting other people's opinions too.  Basically being a decent human being.

Zoe McWilliams

For me, International Women’s Day is about those who set the tone or succeeded in particularly challenging areas. Examples: Right to vote, spokespeople for abolition of slavery, fighting for and stepping into positions previously reserved for men (Nancy Astor), or white men in particular (Katherine Johnson).

Nancy astor

"Here's to strong woman; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them"

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