Tomorrow, 8th March, is International Women’s Day. In honour of this, I present to you a list of the 30 best things about being a woman in 2018.
- We are able to grow actual tiny humans inside our bodies – if we want to
- The rush of oxytocin we get when we look at our tiny humans
- We are able to produce food for our tiny humans with our own bodies – if we want to
- We have access to a good education
- We have a world of knowledge at our fingertips at most times
- We have full rights over our own bodies
- We can vote
- We are free to love whomever we choose
- We are free to marry, or not to marry – whatever we decide
- We are free to change our minds about that decision
- We support each other
- We can have a huge impact when we all work together
- We are free to wear make up or not
- We are free to grow our body hair or not
- We are free to travel the world
- We are free to work in any field or industry we choose
- We are free to take up any sport or hobby that interests us
- We have easy access to sanitary products and birth control
- We are free to write our thoughts and opinions down and have them read and respected by other people
- We are paid a fair wage
- We are strong
- We are intelligent
- We are beautiful inside and out
- We are funny
- We are kind
- We are great leaders
- We are great storytellers
- We are great inventors
- We are great scientists
- We are great
When I started writing this list, my intention was to write an empowering and positive list of all the things we can celebrate about being women. But as I thought of each point, all I could think was ‘not all women’ and about how much work there still is for us to do.
I hope women reading this list can identify with many of these.
As a woman, these are the things I value dearly, but not all women have the privilege to identify with everything on this list.
- It’s 2018, yet girls are still being sold into marriage.
- It’s 2018, yet girls are still having their genitals mutilated by their families.
- It’s 2018, yet women are still punished for being raped.
- It’s 2018, yet women are still told they do not have rights over their own bodies
- It’s 2018, yet girls are still missing out on an education because they can’t afford sanitary products
- It’s 2018, yet new mothers are still having their ability to breastfeed compromised by an aggressive baby feeding industry who also put babies lives at risk by inappropriate provision of formula
- It’s 2018, yet ‘stay at home mum’ isn’t considered a ‘real’ job unless, of course, you’re looking after other people’s children instead of your own
- It’s 2018, yet women are still beaten and abused by the people they love
- It’s 2018, yet little girls are still relentlessly told that pink and pretty and dainty is their world
- It’s 2018, yet most women can tell you about their experience of sexual harassment or everyday sexism
- It’s 2018, yet women and girls are still sold and trafficked to be sex workers when all they wanted to do was be safe
- It’s 2018, yet every International Women’s Day there is always a chorus of ‘what about men?’ trying to deny us of our moment
The list goes on…
I can’t help but feel we’ve made progress in the UK, but we still have a long way to go. We also need to pull up, support and fight for our sisters in other countries who are facing fearful realities of abuse and exploitation.
I acknowledge my privilege, and this International Women’s Day, I openly commit to standing beside these women, and ALL women, and giving as much of myself as I can to make the world a better place for us all, and most importantly, for our daughters. (And because I sadly feel I have to specify – NOT at the expense of men).
Here are some fantastic charities & campaigns supporting women & women’s issues – if you have even just £1 to spare for any that catch your attention, I know they would be eternally grateful for your support. If not, please share this post or their website links and spread awareness so others can find them.
Bloody Good Period – UK based charity providing menstrual supplies to asylum seekers, refugees, & those who can’t afford them.
Free Periods – Not a charity, but a campaign started by 17 year old Amika George. Amika was shocked to hear that girls in the UK are missing school because they can’t afford sanitary pads or tampons, or are having to use old socks or tissue paper. She is campaigning to urge the UK Government to provide free sanitary products to girls who are eligible for free school meals. Add your name to the petition!
International Women’s Rights
Action Aid – International charity working “to end the inequality that keeps women and girls locked in poverty, and to restore the rights denied them from birth”
Forward – African led women’s rights organisation focusing on tackling female genital mutilation, child marriage and obstetric fistula.
Domestic Abuse & Human Trafficking
Unseen – Provides a safe house for women in the UK who are survivors of modern slavery and trafficking.
Refuge – Supporting women and children in the UK who have been affected by domestic violence.
Breastfeeding & Infant Feeding
Baby Milk Action – Part of the International Baby Food Action Network, Baby Milk Action works to stop misleading marketing by the baby feeding industry, protecting breastfeeding and babies fed on formula.
La Leche League – Provides mother to mother support for breastfeeding mums at every stage of their breastfeeding journey. This one is particularly special to me because it was at an ‘LLL’ meeting when I sat there, overwhelmed with my 2 week old baby, that I met my mama tribe and got the support I needed to overcome my breastfeeding issues. Without LLL I don’t think I would have been half as confident feeding or raising my daughter because I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to build that vital network of mums to lean on and cry with and keep each other going.
Do something meaningful this International Women’s Day
What’s your favourite thing about being a woman? Are there any charities supporting women that are close to your heart? Let me know in the comments and I’ll tweet links to all that are mentioned 💙