“The young are not vessels to be filled, they are fires to be lit.”
The month of March is a poignant time of year for women across the world. We celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th and Mother’s Day on March 15th. Being a woman and a mother both of these days are particularly evocative for me. I use them to reflect on the cultural landscape for us women.
In the inimitable words of the old Victorian sage it seems as though women and girls are now living in the ‘best of times and the worst of times’. We live in age where a women running for public office attracts widespread endorsement and approval while at the same time women who contribute to the public debate are ridiculed in the press because they choose to wear yellow shoes!
As a Barrister and a BME woman living in Manchester, I am acutely aware of the fact that only 100 years ago Christabel Pankhurst, co-founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union (also from Manchester), was permitted to study law at Manchester University but not permitted to practice. Though there are now a host of gender inequalities which have been ‘righted’, there are still so many which remain. We continue to see inequality in the workplace, the sexualisation of women propagated on a global scale, we see a very concerning rise in mental health issues among our girls and a normalisation of risqué behaviour masked under the guise of ‘the ladette’ culture – our new found freedoms.
As a Mum of 3, including a 16 year old daughter, and Personal Development Coach I find myself ever challenged by this question, “How do I raise a Confident Girl in today’s society?” How do I empower my daughter to use her voice to speak her truth and not surrender her voice to her inner fears. How do I instill in her a deep sense of self–worth which is independent of the approval of the masses? How do I inspire her to play big with her brain as opposed to her booty?
I believe that it’s possible even against the waves of the culture which often works against us. I believe that we as women play a very pivotal role in achieving this. There is a call to arms for each of us women to take front and centre position in enabling our girls and peers to become confident, strong, and independent. It’s no easy task, no, it’s no mean feat (can I get a witness) but with a belief in ourselves and our ability to build strong relationships, we can equip the girls and young women around us to be powerful and savvy. We can embolden them to find and use their unique Spark to light up the world and make a difference in their generation.
[spacer style=”1″] Join Sharon at one of her upcoming events more encouragement and motivation.
2nd April 2015 – Women Mean Business Networking Breakfast Click here for details 12th April 2015 – Motivational Moments Click here for more details