International Women’s Day
On my kindle in bed, I’ve just been reading the harrowing personal accounts of some women across the world. Mothers having to abandon children too heavy to carry as they flee wars zones, this in an attempt to save the majority of their children. Young girls walking barefoot for many miles to fetch dirty water. Girls denied an education because of their gender and women with no access to obstetrics care or contraception. Girls subjected to genital mutilation, forced marriages, trafficked girls. Girls missing school once they start menstruating due to having no sanitary protection.
I consider my own life and that of the women and girls around me. We have so much. Money may be tight at times and my husband messy, but I chose to marry him and to only work twenty-seven hours a week to balance child care needs. If I didn’t make the very most of the thirteen years of free education offered to me at school, there are adult education classes available to me now, the basics or a foreign language, or I could learn to paint or arrange flowers. My clitoris and genitals have been left intact so that I can enjoy a fulfilling sex life. I have access to free contraception so that I’m not forced to give birth every year as many women do. I turn on the tap for clean water. I can be single, marry or divorce as I wish. Work full-time, part-time or stay at home to bring up children. I have these choices. I can reject my husband’s sexual advances and carry on reading my kindle, the worse that would happen is that he would be slightly forlorn but only until he starts looking at which horses are running today and getting excited about Saturday football matches. My daughter is studying chemical engineering at University, still a very male dominated field, she is one of six females out of a cohort of fifty students. We still need to go some way with addressing certain gender biases in our society, however there is nothing actually preventing any of our daughters from reaching out and having the same opportunities available to our sons and vice versa. I have my own bank account and my own money, choices, today, do I spend my seventy pound a week grocery budget in Tesco, Aldi or Asda??? In fact in many ways I have more choices than my husband, I buy and cook as I wish within the finances available to me, he has to eat what I purchase and decide to cook for him!
It wouldn’t take so very much for our infrastructure to collapse, events such as war and natural disasters could see us subjected to a plight similar to many women and girls around the world, it is a sobering thought.