Happy International Women’s Day to you all. It’s an important day to celebrate for many reasons. I’m grateful for all the women (and men) in my life who continue to strive ahead regardless of their situation to make a difference. Whether it be in one person’s life or the lives of many women are doing some pretty epic things around the world which we need to recognise, celebrate and take hold of.
On International Women’s Day this year as we #PressForProgress I’m celebrating the most influential women in my life.
How does my Mum #pressforprogress? Undoubtedly my Mum has been the most influential woman in my life. I’m incredibly grateful that as my mother (along with my late Father) my parents never ever put limits on me because I was a girl. In fact, Mum pressed me to charge ahead. She encouraged me to take ownership, to reflect on how lucky I am and to help others along the way. She’s my she-ro. I’m proud of the way my brothers make a stand for women thanks to the primary role modelling of Mum.
Her work with the service club with Zonta at both a regional, national and international level continues to provide an example to me in the need for women to support other women. Admittedly, when Mum joined Zonta Rotorua over 20 years ago I thought she was heading off to some sort of women’s cult. In fact, what she was doing with the many other Zontians worldwide was on a mission to simply “increase the status of women”. She has spent thousands of voluntary hours fundraising for women who need a helping hand to get through life. She has also been active in acknowledging the work of women who are doing great things in our communities.
Global Gender Pay Gap…ain’t closing anytime soon
Today is also about highlighting the tremendous gaps that still exist between genders today.
The most obvious and pressing issue being the gender pay gap. The Global Gender Gap is widening and at an alarming rate. The recent Global Gender Gap Report produced by the World Economic Forum estimates that gender parity across the world will take over two centuries, 217 years. I mean seriously WTF!!!! There are many more issues where women lag men and we need to continue to highlight these to make changes.
Celebrating women and keep pressing for progress
So whilst some may get a upset about honnouring women today, we absolutely need to have a day to remind us to both celebrate and continue to push forward. Thank you to the strong women who helped pave the way. If we simply let days like today go by without thought or acknowledgement then all the work done by the women gone before us is in vain.