Today is International Women’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate women’s achievements and to call for gender equality. It’s 100 hundred years since women were first permitted to vote and stand in parliamentary election and yet we are still fighting for an equal place in society.
There is so much ground gained and yet so much further to go. This year, in which will also see a vote which could allow for women in Ireland to finally have autonomy over their own bodies, will we move closer to that elusive equality?
The signs are everywhere.
Social media has allowed women a greater platform from which to voice our needs.
Children’s bookshelves are full of images of strong, admirable women, the women that were noticeably absent from our history books but who now take pride of place in everything from bedtime stories to classroom textbooks.
The humbling #metoo movement showing the world that everyday misogyny will not be tolerated.
These are big moments and important ones but the everyday changes are slow to come.
And so I’m sitting here wondering what it is I wish for you my darling daughters.
I wish more than anything that within your lifetime there will be no need for an International Women’s Day.
I wish that you might one day read this, smile and eyeroll at the notion that there was once a time when a man was paid more than a woman to do the same job.
I wish that you will excel in your chosen career without ever having to hear the expression ‘think like a man’. That hard work, tenacity and natural ability will be all that’s required to be justly rewarded.
I look at you now and see your self belief, your sense of justice and fairness and I hope beyond hope that this stays with you in the years ahead.
I hope the future that you are facing is one that recognizes your worth based on what you do and not what gender you are.
I wish you every happiness and hope that the path you carve in life is not one dictated to you but one of your own choosing.
Until that time, when you no longer have to fight for equal recognition I hope that you will support your fellow women because when women support each other, incredible things can happen.