Thursday, March 08, 2012

Ladies Day!

Today is International Women's Day, marking the economic, political and social achievements of women throughout the world.  Here are some shocking facts to ponder!
  • Women own 1% of the world's property. ONE PER CENT.
  • Only 19% of the world's parliamentary seats are held by women.
  • 1 in 4 women are the victims of domestic violence. ONE IN FOUR
  • Women do 66% of the world's work, yet only earn 10% of the world's income. (??!!??!!)
And one particularly close to my heart: Every year in the UK alone 30,000 women lose their jobs because they are pregnant.

It got me thinking about women the world over and especially about my own daughter and what I wish for her; her economic, social and cultural stability and development; so, I've asked a few dads (I'm the exception!) what they wish for their daughters and this is what they said:

Andy (Dad to Martha)
In reality I'm not actually concerned with what she becomes or what she does ... I'm concerned about why she does it. I'm concerned that she develops the ability to follow her dreams and make good choices along the way. I want her to have clarity not confusion, to distinguish genuine from fake. I also want her to be brave, to stare down her fears with a cold resolve and see them crumble before her eyes.
And if you want that summarised neatly, then look no further than the greatest of writers, Charles Dickens:
"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule"
If that's the person she becomes then she'll be happy ... and so will I.

Stephen (Dad to Ellie and Freya)
Three things:
 Self-confidence and humility - self-belief makes it possible for an individual to achieve anything. It’s the antidote to fear and anxiety. Add a degree of humility and it makes for an incredibly powerful quality in any individual.
 Passion - I hope that they discover a personal passion for a subject and that they’re lucky enough for that to become a way of earning a living.
 Good health – as I head into my 40s I’ve become acutely aware that life is very short.

Tris (Dad to Natasha)
A world in which my daughter can flourish unhindered and be granted the success she desires, whether that be personal, academic or career.  Today's world has changed by magnitudes since I was a child - those days saw a masculine dominated world where there were few choices for women.  Nowadays there are more choices and a fairer playing field, but I feel that the full extent of opportunity is still harder to find for women.
Hopefully by the time Natasha leaves school, or university, opportunities will be equal, based on the individual.  I would like Natasha to live in a rich environment based on family values which, coupled with a more equal society will see the world in which Natasha's future lies, thrive.

and last but not own message to my daughter:
I wish you boldness and courage to follow your dreams; dare to dream big and know that you can achieve anything you want. Be passionate and focused, have integrity and compassion, self-confidence and humility; above all, find joy in the small things of life as well as the great; and laugh - a lot.

What do you want for the women in your lives?


  1. Wonderful post. The men in your life seem to be exceptionally wise individuals :-)

  2. I raised my women to grow up and learn by their own standards and feelings and not by the bigotry or narrow mindedness of others.