To offer a harsh metaphor, putting individual women in high-powered positions is to gender equality what trickle-down economics is to poverty: real change needs to address the system as a whole, to change the foundations and assumptions on which our institutions are built.
Creativity is what keeps the world we live in today going. It’s what leads to constructive critique. It’s what leads to solutions. It’s what leads to bettering the living standards of people world wide. It is extremely important to have creative young minds leading society, and integral to enabling this is the access to a wide variety of education areas. Creativity comes from a variety of sources and influences. It comes from medicine, it comes from science, it comes from law, and performing arts, and humanities and sports. We do not live in a tunnel visioned world, where technological evolution is the one stop answer to solving global issues. It is the interconnectedness of a wide variety of educational areas that is essential for the flourishing of society.
The humanities today are more important than ever.
"It was like being in a kid in an all-you-can eat candy shop...But, in this candy store situation, I equally also felt like a kid. Or, at least, under qualified and somehow unworthy."
Sisters should be building sisters up, not shutting sisters down. In the words of Toyin Ojora Saraki: ‘Why can’t I be my sister’s keeper?'
Menstruation is not a new, outrageous, unheard of concept - women have been doing it since...well...forever. But a stigma around menstruation and the discussion of it still exists, and has extremely negative impacts on women and girls worldwide. It is vital for the feminist cause that society loses the stigma surrounding menstruation, as it creates shame about femininity. We need to be able to talk about menstruation without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. We need to identify access to menstrual products as a basic human right for all girls and women. And we need to be proud of the bleedin’ cool things women’s bodies can do.
The message that, “girls can do anything” was certainly a very enduring and persuasive component of my childhood – but I think all the more powerful reality was that I actually got to see a woman really doing it. It wasn’t just a message, it was a reality that I could see depicted in the newspaper each day. It wore red blazers.
We must talk about economics if we are to speak realistically and practically about barriers to gender equality.
Achieving gender equality isn’t a one woman fight done by many. Rather, it’s one fight involving many women. When working together, celebrating each other’s success, valuing differences, and seeing each other as comrades rather than competitors, we can be phenomenal.