Talk by Matt Freidman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU9TeVofkDo
A YOUNG SPIRIT
by Sonnia Gitome
A young spirit wants to fly away.
She wants to break free,
He fights, bites and struggles.
She is bound in chains, he bleeds trying to break free.
But the chains are too strong for her delicate wings to break free.
I hear her crying in the daytime and whimper in the night.
Her tears have run dry and her wounds bleed more than her heart
Every day she prays for an angel….
She prays for an angel to set her free.
The chained spirit is the young child
who is molested by her father.
It’s the young girl who is subjected to prostitution
It’s that child who is a victim of modern day slavery
It’s that girl who under goes female genital mutilation
in the name of tradition.
It’s that girl who is beaded and turned into a sexual toy
all in the name of tradition.
It’s that child who was infected through rape
It’s that child that who is tied down to tradition
and can’t break free.
It’s that child who is emotionally and physically abused
It is the children who are not allowed to be children.
They fight with all their strength to break free.
They fight for their freedom and for their voices to be heard.
Nicholas D. Kristof – one of the co-authors of my most “favourite” non-fiction book – “Half the Sky” comments on a key isuse, not just for the United States but globally.
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Published: September 26, 2012
Damon Winter/The New York Times/ Nicholas D. Kristof
But women like Sina Vann noticed. She’s a friend of mine who was trafficked as a young girl from Vietnam into Cambodian brot… — where she was regularly punished by being locked inside coffins with scorpions and biting ants. Now an anti-trafficking activist with the Somaly Mam Foundation, she sent me an exuberant e-mail (in fractured English, her third language) with a message for Obama: “We are survivors here so proud of you, you are the big president in U.S. and you take action of trafficking. So you give victims from around the world have hope.”
Rachel Lloyd, a survivor of human trafficking who was nearly choked to death by her pimp, felt the same way. Lloyd now runs a superb program in New York City, GEMS, to help American girls escape “the life.” She told me that watching the Obama speech was “one of the most gratifying moments in my 15 years of work on the issue.”
If Representative Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” provoked an uproar, shouldn’t it be incomparably more offensive that millions of human beings are still trafficked in the 21st century? Yet the world often scorns the victims and sees them as criminals: these girls are the lepers of the 21st century.
So bravo to the president for giving a major speech on human trafficking and, crucially, for promising greater resources to fight pimps and support those who escape the streets. Until recently, the Obama White House hasn’t shown strong leadership on human trafficking, but this could be a breakthrough. The test will be whether Obama continues to press the issue.
I’ve been passionate about human trafficking ever since I encountered a village in Cambodia 15 years ago where young girls were locked up, terrified, as their virginity was sold to the highest bidder. It felt just like 19th-century slavery, except that these girls would likely be dead of AIDS or something else by their 20s.
Granted, not all prostitution is coerced. Reasonable people can disagree about what to do in the case of adults who sell sex voluntarily. Put aside that disagreement, for we can agree to place priority on the millions of children and adults compelled to provide sex or other labor.
Prostituted kids are among the most voiceless of the voiceless around the world, and it will make a difference if the White House speaks up for them — and fights for them.
On the India/Nepal border, I once chatted with an Indian policeman who was on the lookout for terrorists and smuggled DVDs but was uninterested in the streams of Nepali girls passing through, destined for the brothels in Bombay and Kolkata. The policeman explained that America was pressuring India on movie piracy, so let’s show India and the world that we’re also concerned with enslaved children.
If we tell other countries to free their slaves, we also have to clean up our own act. Contrary to public opinion, the worst of America’s human trafficking arguably doesn’t involve foreign women smuggled into the United States, but home-grown girls.
It’s a disgrace that police officers and prosecutors routinely go after such teenage girls — often runaways fleeing abuse or other impossible situations — and treat them as criminals, while showing less interest in the pimps who exploited them.
Normally, if a man has sex with a young girl, he risks jail and she gets counselling. But, if she has a pimp who earns $50 from the transaction, then everything changes: The man may get a slap on the wrist and the girl may go to jail. Does that make any sense?
So let’s demand that police officers and prosecutors go after pimps and johns, while treating the teenagers as victims who need comprehensive social services.
Republicans have done superb work on this issue in the past, but now they’re balking at straightforward reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act — landmark legislation against human trafficking. What are they thinking?
One person on the front lines here in the United States is Alissa, who has a scar on her cheek from where her former pimp mutilated her with a potato peeler as a warning not to escape. She did get away and now works with prostituted girls in Washington whose average age, she says, is 14.
Alissa is her street name; she doesn’t want her real name published because pimps still harass her.
Alissa watched Obama’s speech, and then replayed it four more times. She has always been treated as a “throwaway,” she said, and now she was dazzled that the president was treating the issue as a priority.
Some 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, let’s make sure that this isn’t just a speech, but a turning point.
Taken from the website – Where the bright women are - For women who want to feed their mind
It would be hard to disagree in theory with today’s news piece by the Campaign Against Longer Working Hours – and the fact that they are urging us to head home on time for once and enjoy a good old home cooked family meal (the fact that the campaign is sponsored by Bisto may have something to do with the last bit…).
But in practice, how easy is it to be the one that leaves a meeting first? That stands up and dons their coat as the rest of the team are still huddled over their screens, typing furiously. Can you honestly say that if you turned access to your work emails off at 6pm at night, it wouldn’t reflect badly on your career? And let’s flip it, too. How would you feel if it were your child’s teacher that didn’t work 14 hours a day, but instead refused to see parents after school, keep up with their marking, or spend time ordering essential equipment and planning the next day’s lessons? What would you think of a social worker responsible for your elderly mother who regularly spent the evening out with her husband rather than updating that week’s case notes…?
The harsh reality is that a day’s work no longer fits into the standard hours of a working day.
In truth, not many of us are workaholics (although lingering over the most satisfying parts of one’s work can be deliciously seductive) – it’s simply that many more of us are ‘good girls’, loathe to let the side down, anxious not to do anything to rock the boat, terrified to turn down a freelance assignment where in reality the day rate you’re charging will never cover the hours you’ll spend on it…
So whilst it’s ever so tempting to encourage one and all to cast their work aside today and spend quality time with loved ones, adding to the guilt load is certainly not the aim of this site. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on how much time that is rightfully ‘ours’ we spend giving our time ‘for free’ to work and work-related tasks, and how much time we actually spend free from the ties of work life, even when at home or out with friends.
In the past week a friend who works in Japan talked about being the first one, every night, who leaves the office, and how that makes him feel as the only ex-pat at work. It’s simply not the culture in his Tokyo firm to be seen to leave and spend any time in the evening with our family, but if he wants to see his children at all, he has no choice but to go against the cultural grain. Another friend has told how her boss puts the team under unbearable pressure by always saying yes to unrealistic deadlines.
Until we get over the heroics of ‘having to be at work’ ‘pulling a late one’ or ‘bringing it in against the odds’ and the glamour (and associated need and perceived popularity) of always being busy, it’s unlikely that the working culture of long hours and can-do will shift much.
But for those of you that can bear it, it’s worth asking – what’s the worst that can happen if you did just get up and leave on time today…?
Another new friend and champion against trafficking… so the push continues.
I am a Danish photographer who embarked on a photographic journey to document violence against women and human trafficking, and to give a voice to the women and the organizations that are raising awareness for this cause.
I am not a trained academic on the subject but I am a woman and a mother who finds it offensive that women today still suffer abuse, purely because of their sex.
And yes, it is a difficult subject, and sex is probably still somewhat of a taboo, but we need to talk. We need to talk about the violence and exploitation and the unimaginably high number of women trafficked as laborers, domestics and sexual slaves world wide; and we need to acknowledge that much of this is happening in our own back yard.
I began my work in Cambodia and Thailand where I concentrated on photographing survivors of exploitation ranging from human trafficking to domestic violence. I also met women that work in the local “karaoke bars,” sex workers who wanted to tell me about their lives.
Ms. A was trafficked to Malaysia as a domestic hoping for a better future. Instead she was exploited, had her papers destroyed and forced to work long hours. She managed to escape back to her home in Cambodia and is still struggling to survive.
I feel deeply honored that the women in these pictures wanted to talk to me. What I learned above all is that they want to be heard. They trusted me to tell their stories to make sure that this will not continue. I was deeply touched by their strength, which made me determined to take this project worldwide so we can look at these women as the individuals they are, and not as statistics or numbers.
So have not blogged for the fair part of summer but am back on the case post holidays – as a start, the article below is incredibly timely given that I have an interview for a non-executive director role with a Plc in the coming weeks. So my bleating on about women in board rooms may have finally paid off. Fingers crossed
Caroline Watson, Co-founder of Progressive Women, writes about the benefits of more women on boards, and new developments supporting women in business.
There has been a lot in the media over the last couple of weeks about women in business and equality in the boardroom. There are new proposals coming out of Brussels that could lead to companies being fined if they fail to meet a target for women to make up 40% of board members by 2020. As the proposal stands this would apply to companies with a turnover of £40 million or at least 250 employees.
Currently across Europe only 13.7% of board members are women. 17.2% of FTSE 100 companies board members are female. It’s startlingly obvious what this means for equality but what does this mean for business?
There are some strong economic arguments for increasing women’s representation on boards. You only had to watch Hilary Devey’s tv programme last night ‘Women at the Top’ to know that there is a convincing business case. Half of UK graduates are women, approximately half the work force are women. It is ineffcient for business to recruit from only half a country’s talent pool, so by not considering women for the top jobs there is a lot of talent being wasted.
‘Women at the Top’ referred to the ‘female brain drain’, the talent that is lost as women leave the workforce, or stop striving for the best jobs in business. Top executives including Stuart Rose formerly of M&S were interviewed about the benefits women bring to leadership roles and how gender diversity in the board room can bring more balanced descisions, as women bring a different perspective.
Proctor and Gamble have reached 50/50 men and women at every level in their organisation after making changes to end the exodus of women. Measures included offering flexi working and reduced work schedules to accomodate work/family balance. Proctor and Gamble concluded the investment in retaining women was worth it, as gender balanced teams worked 5% more efficiently. Obviously, large companies have the luxury of resource to make this investment. Smaller companies may not, and often feel threatened by women of child bearing age, incase they have to pay out for maternity cover. 92% of maternity pay is covered by the government for small businesses. However, there are costs associated with recruiting cover and training. Perhaps some way to end the discrimination women may face at interview is for more men to take their alloted paternity leave. However, this wouldn’t address the challenge faced by small businesses. A way to deal with this could be more goverment support to cover the additional costs faced by companies.
Norway has a quota system for women on boards. It has been implemented successfully and Norway now has the largest proportion of women on boards in Europe at 42%. According to Forbes.com’s Kate Taylor ‘Women at the top allow greater representation and draw from women in the workforce and better outcomes for companies.’ She also explains that data analysed by Catalyst reveals between 2004 and 2008 the top quartile of companies with the highest percentage of women directors outperformed companies in the quartile with the lowest by 26% in the US.
It’s controversial as to whether quotas are the right action. But what is clear is that more women at the top is good not just for equality but also for business. That’s why Progressive Women are so excited to see the forthcoming launch of a new organisation Women on Boards. They’re hosting a number of launch events in cities across the UK including Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. You can find out more about the organisation and how you can attend their launch events on their website here.
I have posed the above question before and whilst today I feel great pride in us hosting the Olympics 2012, has enough response been made to the potential trafficking issue that has been thought to have arisen with regard to the Olympics? Those who will be visiting the Olympic site and around London will see the “Gift Box” installations which is the Olympics’ “Stop the Traffik” project. Please do stop by and look and speak to the volunteers – it is a worthy cause – http://www.stopthetraffik.org/campaign/olympics and you may see me during the Para-olympics period manning a box!
Certainly this extract below taken from the article “The UK’s response to human trafficking: Fit for purpose?” by Myriam Cherti, Jenny Pennington, Eliza Galos - July 2012, suggests that the UK has taken a positive stance.
Countries hosting major international sporting events have started to take the threat of trafficking seriously and to put in place measures designed to reduce the likelihood of people being trafficked as a result of the event. The 2004 Athens Olympics saw the first serious action around the issue, followed by a series of campaigns in advance of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany (IOM 2006), the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in the same year (London Councils 2011). The UK has learnt from this collective experience and a number of preventative measures have already been put in place to manage any potential upsurge in trafficking around London 2012. Stakeholders interviewed for a London Councils report (2011) identified a number of areas where there is a risk that the Olympic and Paralympic Games may have an impact on trafficking. Stakeholders felt there was a particular threat of an upsurge in children being trafficked to beg or to work as pickpockets, in response to the greater volume of visitors expected. The same report also identified that the upsurge in work available before and around the Olympics across multiple sectors (such as construction and catering) and the need for a workforce that is flexible and able to respond to tight deadlines may drive demand for trafficked labour. Another identified risk was that traffickers might exploit the opportunity to bring people into the country in greater numbers at a time when international borders will have to cope with an influx of visitors (The Future Group 2007 cited in London Councils 2011).
It is difficult to assess the impact of the Olympics on the scale and character of trafficking at this moment in time. However, there have been reports that suggest that there may have been some instances of trafficking associated with the event. There have been recent media reports of ‘a huge surge in the number of eastern European migrants arriving in London before the Olympics’, including evidence that ‘organised crime gangs are trafficking mostly Romanian nationals into the capital and setting them to work exploiting tourists and visitors’. Some of these cases may involve trafficking as understood using by the three-part definition, that is, movement by coercion for the purposes of exploitation. For example, one case highlighted by the media has involved a woman arrested for begging using three children, which shows possible indicators of child trafficking (Evening Standard 2012).
While the links between sporting events and an increase in trafficking are not particularly clear or well understood, events like the Olympics can provide the political and public impetus for the implementation and funding of much-needed measures to prevent, identify and deal with trafficking. In the UK, a response around the games has been formed through a partnership of governmental and non-governmental agencies. The Human Trafficking and London 2012 network has been established for ‘the purpose of avoiding any possible increase in trafficking and prostitution in the run-up to the London 2012 Games’. It is coordinated by the Greater London Authority and other members include the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Metropolitan police service, London Safeguarding Children Board, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Eaves, Anti-Slavery Inter national, Stop the Traffik and the Salvation Army.
London 2012: an opportunity for the UK to improve responses to trafficking
The network aims to ‘build on lessons learnt from previous sporting events and work with all the relevant agencies to avoid duplication, identify gaps and emerging issues and work together to tackle them’.
It does this through a number of workstreams, including initiatives to:
• address demand for trafficking
• ensure that trafficked people know how they can seek and access support
• ensure that those who may come across trafficking are able to respond
• raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking in source countries
• improve support in the criminal justice sector for victims and witnesses of trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labour and other related forms of criminality.
Some of the actions that have been agreed to date would have been developed as part of a wider programme of responses not related specifically to the Olympics – however, others represent a specific response to the event. For example, information for athletes and training for ‘games ambassadors’ includes information on human trafficking, the laws in the UK, indicators of trafficking, and how to seek support. Following previous action around sporting events, several reports have been published that make specific recommendations on the development of effective and appropriate action in this context.
The key recommendations are: • Awareness campaigns should form part of a sustainable and long-term strategy to raise awareness about trafficking beyond the sporting event (Future Group 2007, IOM 2006, London Councils 2011). • Campaigns should be coordinated between groups to ensure the greatest possible impact and to avoid misleading campaign narratives (IOM 2006). • An evidence-based approach should be used when adopting anti-trafficking measures (Future Group 2007) and campaigns should be developed with input from affected communities, including trafficked persons, migrant workers, unions and relevant labour sectors, sex workers and others (GAATW 2009). • Efforts to address trafficking should be holistic (SIWSAG 2009).
Efforts should address demand as well as raise awareness among the public about trafficking (London Councils 2011) and prevent trafficking at source through work in countries of origin and transit to raise awareness among potential victims of the dangers of trafficking (Future Group 2007, London Councils 2011). At this stage, it is difficult to assess how the London 2012 response measures up against these criteria. However, it is clear that through the programme of work developed the UK authorities are taking the risks posed by the games seriously and are taking up some of the opportunities to push ahead in some areas of trafficking response that the Olympics offer. By convening an open network, the risk of multiple uncoordinated campaigns being developed has been reduced. The network also provides a level of scrutiny that should improve responses. A real strength of the UK’s trafficking strategy around the Olympics is its strong focus on legacy. One of the key features of the network’s activities is to ‘improve knowledge and learning which can contribute towards the wider Olympic legacy and anti-trafficking measures nationally’. Work to cement this within the Olympic movement includes production of a report that evaluates the project and makes suggestions for future Olympic host countries alongside work to ‘lobby for anti-trafficking measures to be included in the IOC bidding process’.
Clare Winterton: The Mama in Many Ways gallery looks at the many forms of motherhood that women are embracing. Do you think the ways in which women are becoming mothers and exhibiting motherhood are changing as we get further into the 21st century?
Tina Sharkey: In a prior society, women felt they had to live up to the perfect, framed picture on the wall that everyone held up as the ideal. You have the perfect wedding, then comes the perfect child, and then the perfect life was to ensue. I think this picture of what we thought perfection looked like was shattered a long time ago and we are definitely seeing new definitions of “perfection” arise.
Clare: What do you think shattered that “picture-perfect” family ideal?
Tina: Reality. I think that the more reality was socialized and celebrated in the mainstream, the more people felt empowered to embrace their real lives and live the reality that actually works for them. All the real and “non-traditional” aka “not perfect” things that existed behind that picture-perfect ideal are now very much in the foreground. I believe that the rise of social media, the proliferation of reality television, the rise of exposing what was never perfect, has led to a new kind of acceptance of people’s individual choices and modern lifestyles.
This social media “exposure” is also part of celebrity culture: Madonna, Brad and Angelina, Sandra Bullock and other high profile celebs who are raising “non traditional” families are in the constant public eye. Children adopted from different countries mixed in with biological children. It is all in the mix. The timing and definition of when and why to start and end a marriage is also changing and gaining rapid acceptance in the mainstream. The fact that US and People magazines, each dedicate on average six to twelve pages to these new modern families is a clear sign that our society is mesmerized by the changing norms and celebs have become a proxy for what is now acceptable in the mainstream.
Clare: So how do you think this has affected the way people view their own family structure or their own roles as mothers?
Tina: People are more empowered to pursue the life they want to pursue. In terms of individual choices and personal timelines, that may mean continuing their education and professional career. Others are realizing that they are not going to find the perfect mate or perhaps they don’t want to find the perfect mate. There is no stigma to being a single parent today. This realization that life isn’t perfect or that that you are free to pursue your own definition of perfect, is the drive behind this shift.
From a family building perspective, there is a whole new trend of doing whatever it takes to pursue the maternal or paternal dream with the foundational understanding that everything is an individuals’ choice. I think that our society is now about expressing your individual desires and pursuits without judgment. With any luck, we are moving towards a non-judgmental society and people are more equipped to traverse what initially seemed to be an impasse.
Clare: Do you think that this kind of proliferation of different ways of being a mom and creating families is going to continue to change? Looking forward, what do you see happening?
Tina: It is my hope for the future that we’ll have fewer global births, and decrease the rates of maternal and infant mortality globally, In addition, global social media provides so much exposure and connectedness. Exposure can lead to more knowledge, not only of our immediate world, but of the global communities we all are members of. Perhaps, with any luck, this could help to build an empathy network around the world. One that nurtures not only our own primary families but members of the global communities. I see seeds of this around us, but it is only the beginning of what I believe is possible now and in the future.
Clare: We’ve been talking about motherhood shifting and evolving. Is this shift about dads as well?
Tina: It has to be, because we have to welcome them into the more traditional roles that often fall under the motherhood label. In today’s society everyone needs to learn to juggle juggle and multitask and the way we work and live. I do believe, though, that we’ve made tremendous progress in the world as many women are staying in the workplace and the men are staying in the home. I see that all the time and I think it’s fantastic. Really, this particular parenthood shift is about getting to 50-50, where we can share these roles. It has to be OK for a man to be the playground at 10 a.m. pushing the swing, and it has to be OK for the mom to not be at the parent teacher conference. We need to pave the way for men to embrace their maternal calling so that we can be a society that pursues the highest efficiency without judging one another. I think it’s wonderful when men embrace this idea. Both men and women have to reform their perceptions to make this work.
Clare: How do you think your own life and path as a mom is impacted by these kinds of changing definitions of motherhood?
Tina: For me, for my marriage, for my family, we always need to evaluate who can take the lead and who can provide support in any given situation be at it home or at work. That wheel is always spinning and shifting as life tends to move in cycles. Open communication, true partnership and quiet observations of what is best for our family is required at each and every milestone. It isn’t always easy, but with a commitment o a healthy and balanced family and life you can get there., I often am less influenced by society and more so by my own capacity to think for myself and make choices that feel right for me at the time and for my family long term.
Clare: How do you think the world at large would change if we were more cognizant and accepting of multiple kinds of maternal influences?
Tina: The maternal instinct does not need to stay at home or reside exclusively with women. There is so much power and wisdom that resides in all of us and a universal need for us to heal this planet, our planet. Instead of leaving this maternal instinct in the domestic space we need to bring it out and apply it in businesses, in culture, in society, in our communities. No one will evaluate these nurturing skills directly on a job interview, but if we individually and instinctively use those skills beyond their discrete application to our children, we can differentiate ourselves to be more empathic leaders with emotional intelligence and really move mountains.
So life has overtaken me of late and hence a lack of writing.. and also time has been taken up with me deflecting and defending myself from certain opinions of me being a racist and a lipstick feminist so hence a racist lipstick feminist. Such deflection has taken up not only time but much mental agility – not so much the racist part – I have carefully defended myself on this point but more the lipstick feminist. To clear up the racism slurs, this was aimed at my one of my articles in which I had stated that all communities had trafficking and suppression of women issues and that a certain race and culture was not immune from this as had been indicated by certain current court cases and should therefore not turn a blind eye and in saying this was told that my views were akin to nazism rhetoric. So – I have deftly cleared this issue up but now to the lipstick feminist – this label troubles me greatly as I have no idea what it actually means. So I look up the insightful Wikipedia and find the below:
Lipstick feminism is a variety of Third-wave feminism that philosophically reclaims the sexual power of women, in response to the social and cultural backlash of the ideologically radical varieties of Second-wave feminism of the 1960s and the 1970s. In its course, the ideologic backlash generated negative stereotypes of contemporary Third-wave feminists, including the physical stereotype of the “ugly feminist” and the socio-cultural stereotype of the “anti-sex feminist”, which Lipstick-feminist philosophy proposes to correct by reclaiming personal control of female sex appeal. Linguistically, Lipstick feminism proposes to semantically reclaim, for feminist usage, double-standard insult words, such as “slut”, in order to eliminate the social stigma applied to a woman whose sexual behaviour was patriarchically interpreted to denote “immoral woman” and to connote the moral corruption of libertinage. Philosophically, Lipstick feminism proposes that a woman is empowered — psychologically, socially, politically – by the wearing of cosmetic make up, sexually suggestive clothes, and the practice of a sexual allure that appeals to men and to women. That such overt sexual practices empower a woman because they are personal social choices, and not coerced acquiescence to societally established gender roles, such as “the good girl”, “the decent woman”, “the abnegated mother”, “the virtuous sister”, et aliæ. Yet, opponent feminists propose that the empowerment of Lipstick feminism is a philosophic contradiction wherein a woman chooses to sexually objectify herself, and so ceases to be her own woman, in control neither of her self nor of her person. Nonetheless, Lipstick feminism counter-proposes that the practice of sexual allure is a form of power, and that, besides the reproductive power of prettiness, sex appeal is a form of social power in the interpersonal relations between a man and a woman, which occur in the realms of cultural, social, and gender equality. Moreover, Stiletto feminism, a more ideologically radical variety of Lipstick feminism, proposes that there exists no philosophic contradiction in being a feminist and in being female, a woman who is sexually alluring to men and to women. Besides the acceptance of makeup, the adherents of Stiletto feminism accept the existential (philosophic) validity of women practicing occupations specifically predicated upon female physical beauty, such as working as a striptease dancer or as a pole dancer, and the validity of the personal practices of public sexual exposition (flashing) and of lesbian (girl-on-girl) exhibitionism, as not un-feminist because such practices and preferences are personal choices, not external coercion.
In reading the above description, I do certainly wear clothing denoting my femininity and certainly have many shades of lipstick in my make up drawer so technically I perhaps do fit the lipstick feminist description but I have no desire to go on a slut walk or validate sexual exploitation of women. So I conform to no label it seems but what I do argue for is a form of equality for women, to the extent that it is possible and I caveat this because ultimately, biologically, women will be the bearer of children and for a short time at least, may have to put careers and lives on hold. I further advocate a form of feminism where young girls are not forced into early marriages and pregnancies; are not trafficked for sexual exploitation as young as eight and where women can be in charge of their own decisions and over their physical being.
But all this being said, I will still be labelled by other women with regard to the “form” of feminism that I supposedly adhere to and a number of women (such as those who have labelled me a “lipstick feminist”) will disagree with my stance and the way in which I endeavour to raise awareness of lack of equality for women. Ultimately I think that we are all driving towards the one goal and frankly I would rather do that with my lippie and heels on than not and just concede that I may not always be taken seriously (generally by other women).
But I conclude on a sad note and is not about feminism but human compassion. Tis about a young student in Nottingham who was 20 pence short of her bus fare for the last night bus home and notwithstanding 8 minutes of cajoling with the bus-driver (captured on CCTV), was not able to board the bus and was stranded in Nottingham town centre at 3am in the morning and was then attacked and raped. A lasting and scarring action all for 20 pence. So I do not preach feminism here (although many know my position on the power struggle and rape of women) but more a call of humanity, wishing that someone on the bus could have given the young girl the shortfall money. So I continue to keep banging my drum, not just for feminism per se but for a respect for others because one day it may be my daughter stranded somewhere and my only wish would be that someone might just come to her rescue if I or her father are unable to.
Interesting and perhaps slightly controversial view on which gender makes the best leader. Admittedly one should take all studies with a pinch of salt.
As John Gray advocated in his 1992 bestseller Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, there are fundamental differences between the genders. According to a new study, these differences are evident when it comes to leadership behaviour.
- Planning and managing activities – organising, prioritising and planning, in order to meet deadlines and deliver on promises.
- Respect and empathy for others – caring for others, effective listening and noticing how others are feeling.
- Taking personal responsibility – being open and honest, owning the consequences of your decisions and admitting mistakes.
- Strategic vision – seeing the ‘big picture’ and the long-term impact of decisions, creating a strategic plan and considering the financial implications.
- Commercial focus – being ‘hard-nosed’, driving improved business results, striving to manage key financial metrics.
- Personal impact – making a strong first impression, expressing views with confidence and being visible across the organisation.