I am not sure that I am fully supportive of events like today’s International Women’s Day because my view is that we need to value everyone for their contribution to life. It can’t be right to single out certain sections of the community. But perhaps the key is that we still need to do it now in order for us to really move forward.
It is shocking to me that in 2016 we still need to highlight inequalities and promote the contribution women make. But it appears that we need to. Every week it seems reports are published showing how women are not being paid equitably for their work. Today there was some research about how many women have been targeted by abuse, and it was quite shocking.
Over the years I have faced abuse but more common than that I have been patronised many, many times. Thankfully, as I get older this seems to be happening less, or perhaps as I get older I just won’t accept that kind of treatment. When I was young I was given a huge amount of confidence and support from my parents who made me feel there were no barriers for me. This was in many respects but also because I am a woman. My mum is a strong individual; stronger than she thinks, and my dad was in a household of women as he always said even the dog was female. Being a woman wanting to have a career, go into journalism, be determined and strong it was never an issue. I was me and that was all that mattered.
It is that kind of approach where you can achieve what you want with some determination and persistence that I think is essential. The fact that you have certain characteristics should not be a consideration. And we will know we have really made a difference when we can recognise everyone as individuals.
The key for me today is for everyone to remember that the only boundaries we have are the ones we set in our own minds.