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8 March 2020

RAISING THE BAR ON IWD

Happy International Women's Day! Over the years, I've written a number of posts in honour of International Women's Day, which you can see here:

2019: BATTLING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

2018: BE THE DIFFERENCE 

2017: JUST A GIRL



This year, I've been thinking about the message I want to share for IWD 2020 and it's something that I hold incredibly close to my heart. This year I want to talk about raising the bar for young girls and giving them the courage to have higher aspirations.

As a teacher, I spend my day educating children and telling them they can achieve whatever they set their minds too. However, I want to see this message more, especially for the young girls of the world. As much as we like to think we are a progressive society and that in the field of work men and women have equal opportunities. That just isn't the case. We still have so much progress when it comes to men and women having equal job opportunities and women being in positions of power. There is still a huge gap between the amount of men to women as business owners, lawyers, politicians and the medical and science field.


When I talk to my class about what job they might like to have when they are older, the limitations my girls already feel is so obvious. Recently, we were celebrating our "Big Me" week, in which we have a career orientated week and get the children to think about aspirations for the future. The boys in my class had jobs related to sport, engineering and medicine. My girls had jobs related to beauty, childcare and shop work. Now, I'm in no way saying that any of these are bad careers but what I am saying is the difference between what they, at the age of 8, already see as gender specific career paths. We did an activity where I gave them different jobs and they had to draw this person and you can imagine where this is going... firefighter, police officer, scientist and business owner - only one child in my class drew a female police officer because their mum is a police office. And a hairdresser, teacher, makeup artist and fashion designer... all woman. Not only is this an issue for the girls in my class but also the boys. Raising the bar for young girls this IWD is beneficial for everyone.

We need to encourage our young girls to think outside of what they are used to. To expose them to powerful women in business, science and politics. We need to teach them that their world is not limited and neither is their opportunities. We need to prepare them for a world that will try and push them into a box and give them the courage to speak out against injustice. Being a teacher, I might be a little bias but education is the answer to creating a more inclusive and understanding society. We need to raise the bar on our expectations for young girls and women and give them hope for a future which sees them in positions of power and change.

I hope you have a fantastic International Women's Day!

Till next time.
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