Wednesday, 7 March 2018

International Women`s Day 2018

International Women's Day is on 8th March every year and is an important day whereby women all over the world can celebrate achievements they have made culturally, socially, politically and economically.
It has been a fight for women to get the same recognition as men in all areas of their life. And in 1909 women began the campaign for better pay at work and for voting rights organised by the socialist party in America. Then a year later at the International Women's Conference in Copenhagen, it was suggested that women have an International Women's Day and in 1913, March 8th was recognised as the day of celebration and reflection of women's achievements and past suffering.

Unfortunately, women are still being paid less than men in the workplace and there is still work to be done at addressing inequality issues. There are still many global issues relating to gender inequality.
Many countries around the world have made IWD as an official holiday. And did you know that the USA designate the whole of March as `Women's History Month?` Amazing :)

Recently, more women have felt able to speak out about sexual harassment in the workplace which has helped to empower and inspire all women. Take a look at Westminster. Not all abuse or bullying involved women, but female MP`s have now felt able to disclose abuse and the situation is being taken seriously and dealt with, as in the past women felt too fearful to speak out in a male orientated environment. 

I wanted to write a post in celebration and share my thoughts, experiences, and inspiration.

My first job was in mental health nursing in the 1980`s. There was considerably more male managers than females and especially more male psychiatrists. I am not sure what the ratio of male to female psychiatrists there is today. But it was a male-dominated world with female nurses doing what was asked of them. I always felt a sense of inferiority, but that could have also been my age:) 
I remember a time that I worked on a secondment as a student nurse in a female gynecological ward. The consultant was male and every morning the nurses were ushered into the sluice room so they didn't make the ward untidy whilst the consultant did his rounds. The ward sister seemed to pamper to his every requirement. Not sure if a female consultant gynecologist would have done the same.
Even in the 1980`s inequality was felt. And generally speaking, women are still earning less than men in the workplace today.

But take stock, and look back in history at some famous influential women, and there is certainly a fair amount and they go back a long way. 

  • Queen Elizabeth 1 (1558-1603) Queen of England. She was a major European power in politics, the arts and commerce and helped England go from poverty to one of the most important nations in Europe.
  • Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) an author who produced the first literature for juvenile girls. Her most famous was Little Women. She went on to have 270 of her works published.  
  • Clara Barton (1821-1912) who helped to treat injured soldiers on the battlefield in the English Civil War. She went on to become the founder and first president of the American Red Cross.
  • Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) who went on to fly across the Atlantic Ocean opening the way for other women to follow their dreams to fly.
  • Ella Fitzgerald (1918-1996) Won 12 Grammy Awards and was one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.
  • Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) was an Indian leader and a very influential figure for Indian women all around the world.
  • Joan of Arc (1412-1431) A national French heroine. She led the resistance to the English invasion in the 100 years war. She believed that it was her mission to lead France to freedom from the English.
  • Mother Theresa (1910-1997) The founder of a religious group of nuns in India. She devoted her life to aiding the sick all over the world.
These are just some amazing and inspirational women that have paved the way for other women to follow suit. They have instilled confidence and shown great strength of character. Fabulous role models :)

Now I am retired from my job in nursing I write children`s storybooks. When I was younger I lacked confidence with books and reading always filled me with anxiety. 
Since then, I have grown in strength emotionally and mentally and truly believe that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
My new path has led me to do things I have never done before and out of my comfort zone.I am learning new skills and becoming acquainted with a new industry - the publishing industry and getting to grips with social media and marketing. (again seen historically as male-orientated.) I am also finding out that I am good at things I would have never thought of. 
Being retired doesn't mean that I have to stop learning and being creative. I just have more time to do the things that I love doing and I LOVE TO LEARN and experience new things.

Who inspires me?
My daughters are a great inspiration. They keep me youthful and their hunger for life and success drives me too. I would love to think that they feel the same way about me :)

Here are just some famous female authors who have influenced me in my recent children`s books.
  • Enid Blyton (1857-1968) 
  • Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)
  • Jacqueline Wilson (1945-present)
  • Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)
  • J.K.Rowling (1965-present)
There are so many inspirational women out there today who continue to fight for women's rights all over the world. I would like to say a BIG thank you to them for making the world a better place for women and continuing to fight for equality.
I wish you all a very reflective, inspirational and creative International Women`s Day.

With love from my charcaters Hollie, Figgs and Princess Lulubud.


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