Why I Am Proud To Be A Woman

"Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It is you who can change the world."
- Malala Yousafzai

"Gender Equality is not a 'women's' issue, it is a human issue. It affects us all."

"Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength."
-G.D. Anderson

For far too long women were marginalised. They went disregarded, undervalued and abused.

For hundreds of years, those that stood up were knocked back down for fighting for what is right. 

For far too long our voices were silenced. 

Not anymore. Time's Up.

I am so proud to be a woman. For all those that came before me, and all those that will follow, this is our chance to speak. Around the world, there are millions of women still struggling. Those with the privilege must continue to fight for those without. For all who identify as female.

When women support each other, incredible things happen. The rise of women does not mean the fall of men. Why has feminism become a dirty word? Emma Watson said in her 2017 United Nations speech "the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop."

I want my children to grow up in a world where they feel they can do anything, no matter their gender. Feminism by definition is: 

“The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality.”

It feels like whenever women try to talk about gender issues, we are told to shut up. Told we are the sexist ones, we are 'bossy', we are knocking men. That we should go back to the quiet cupboard we came from. To that, I say Fuck You.

We should be celebrated. All we want is for all who identify as a female around the world to have the same rights as men; no more, no less. I really don't think that is too much to ask for.

At the start of the month, I attended the ceremony of a plaque for Mary Shelley, the writer or Frankenstein. As of January this year, only 13% of the Blue Plaque Scheme in London was female. That blows my mind. In 2018, 100 years since some women first acquired the vote in the UK, we are still sidelined.

A survey by the charity Plan International UK found that 1 in 10 females aged 14 to 21 in Britain cannot afford sanitary towels or tampons. Given that the country is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, that's pretty disgusting. A packet of 20 sanitary towels or tampons costs roughly £3, and women might need at least a couple of packets a month: that’s a total monthly cost of around £10. Other costs potentially include pain relief. While it might not seem like a great deal of money, it is sadly the case that a growing number of people – particularly younger people – are struggling to afford the basics. Girls skipping school because they don't have the products they need or going with tissue stuffed down their knickers. This is unacceptable. Why is it that condoms can be provided free on the NHS, yet sanitary products aren't? They are a necessity, not a luxury. And that is just here, not to mention the millions of women living in developing countries who have access to nothing.

Sources To Educate & Empower You

Emma Watson UN HeForShe Campaign Speech 2014

We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TED Talk

Everyday Sexism - Laura Bates TED Talk

Barack Obama 2016 White House Women's Summit Speech

Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize Speech

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Michelle Obama 2015 Speech

Oprah Winfrey - Power Of Women Speech

Anne Hathaway IWD 2017 UN Speech

Why I March

The Suffragettes Penguin Classics

I have loved all the books/speeches mentioned above, and many have brought tears to my eyes. I often refer back to them, and I hope they can similarly become sources of education and empowerment for you.

Stats To Blow Your Socks Off
Sources listed below.

1 in 5 girls in developing countries who enrol in primary school never finish.

1 in 7 girls will marry before they are 15 in the developing world.

Women comprise only 18.9% of the world's legislators.

1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. 

About 44% of all UK women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old. 

Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused.

38% of all murders of women worldwide are committed by a woman's intimate partner.

A UN report said 99.3% of women and girls in Egypt had been subjected to sexual harassment.

Over 130 million women living in the world today have undergone Female Genital Mutilation.

There are as many as 24,000 girls at risk of cutting in the UK.

In one Birmingham hospital, as many as 40 to 50 women every month are treated after undergoing female genital mutilation.

An estimated 1.2m children are trafficked into slavery each year; 80% are girls.

In 10 countries around the world, women are legally bound to obey their husbands. Only 76 countries have legislation that directly targets domestic violence; just 57 of them include sexual abuse.

In the UK, the gender pay gap stands at 15%, with women on average earning £5,000 less a year than their male colleagues. The disparity is even greater in part-time jobs, going up to 35%.

Globally only a 24% of senior management roles are now filled by women.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission estimates it will take 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies.

This hurts everyone. The gender gap in certain industries is even more apparent and damaging. Zemach Getahun estimates that closing the gender gap in agriculture could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17%.

If the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work in the UK were fully utilised, the UK could deliver economic benefits of £15 to £21 billion pounds per year – more than double the value of all our annual exports to China.


But finally, I want to dedicate this post to the strongest woman in my life - my Grandma. I'm not sure she will ever read this, but I honestly feel like I could shout to the rooftops about how freaking great she is. I'm privileged enough to be born into a world that is very different from the one she was, almost 80 years ago. For her, there wasn't the option of a career and motherhood. All her life she has made sacrifices for the people her around her. And she inspires me every day to lead with love. 

"Women's rights are human rights."

All My Love

Sources Used;
http://www.epa.gov |  http://www.myfoxfw.com/dppd/news/international/natural-disasters-killed  |  http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/010311_11283924  |  http://www.state.gov/secretar/rm/2010/03  |  http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/appliances/  |  http://www.worldwatch.org  |  http://www.arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/03/wireless-survey-91-ofamericans-have-cell-phones.ars  |  http://www.gatesfoundation.org/  |  http://www.energyguide.com/library/energylibrarytopic  |  http://www.usaid.gov/mx/health.htm  |  https://plan-uk.org/  |  “50 Fascinating Facts for Women’s History Month.” Gender across Borders. March 7, 2011.  |   Baumgardner, Jennifer and Amy Richards. Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010.   |   “7 Ridiculous Restrictions on Women’s Rights Around the World.” The Washington Post.   |   Jenainati, Cathia and Judy Groves. Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide. North Road, London: Icon Books, 2007.   |   Ravitz, Jessica. “Women in the World: Where the U.S. Falters in Quest for Equality." CNN  |    Swanson, Emily. “Poll: Few Identify as Feminists, but Most Believe in Equality of Sexes.” Huffington Post.   |    Temple, Emily. “A Reading List of One’s Own: 10 Essential Feminist Books.” The Atlantic.   |   “Women’s Rights Around the Globe: Behind the Data.” The Guardian.   |

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