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Change the conversation

As March contains in it both National Women’s Day on Sunday the 8th and Mother’s Day on Sunday the 20th , it is hard not feel this month is led by women. In light of this, I ask, what are you doing this month to advocate for women? Megan O’Donnell, who helps run the Centre for Global Development’s gender programme, says that we should “think about power in terms of innovative
ideas; who is changing the conversation in ways that will make power more equitably distributed?” Perhaps then, this month is the time to change the conversation.

This year seems to be promising, for already in 2020 there has been successes for women. The #MeToo campaign has had a triumphant victory; Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and faces as long as 25 years in prison. Women are joining forces to demonstrate that no longer can powerful men take advantage of women. Women are becoming a power. Sanna Marin became
Finland’s new prime minister, she is the youngest sitting head of government at age 34. The youngest ever sitting head of government is a woman. Not only this, but the other forty party chiefs are also women, which makes Finland’s government 100% women led. Last year Ursula von der Leyen was appointed president of the European Commission, she is the first woman to
serve in the role and is responsible for legislation that affects 7000 million people. Amazing women are taking power across the world and this is only possible because of the women who fought in the past and the women fighting now. The film ‘Misbehaviour’ enters cinemas on National Women’s Day and retells the narrative of a team of women who disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London. A competition representative of the culturally and socially embedded opinion that to be valued women must look pretty. This historical lesson in what was, allows us to understand how we got to where we are now. It also encourages us to question, what is the sexism of our everyday? My nan and I often debate about the ‘has feminism gone too far?’ question. She reflects on her youth and explains how in her day an older man whistling at you down the road was a compliment, flattery that made you feel important. Whereas today, I explain to her that it’s objectifying, it’s uncomfortable and it’s just plain creepy. In this respect the world has moved on, the everyday sexism in her life would be condemned in my every day.

Now, where has all this information got us? Well, the woman’s narrative is changing. Women are no longer laughed at for their ambitions, women are climbing the mountain of power and sit proudly at the top of it. Us women are bound together by our
enterprise for complete equality, for safety and for the same opportunities. When people say the battle of feminism is won, it shows the ignorance that limits their mind. Question those people. When they say, ‘what are you fighting for?’ as they inevitably will, ask them ‘what do you think of when you see a woman?’. If they do not see, prime
ministers, CEO’s, investors, managers, powerful minds before they see arses and boobs, then they have declared themselves that the battle still needs to be fought for. This March, a woman-led month, do something for women. Whether you are a woman yourself or a feminist ally, do something to change the narrative of womanhood. Whether it is a small change like enlightening
someone on casual sexism or a large change like working to gain women education in the 20 prominent nations that still do not allow it. Make March the month of change. Change the narrative and change the conversation.

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