Future Voices: Winning the feminism war
- Credit: PA
Feminism. Women have progressed over many years in order to achieve gender equality. Across the world, we have had leaders, inventors, philanthropists and figures such as Rosalind Franklin, the suffragettes like Emily Pankhurst, Stephanie Kwolek and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Even so, we Norfolk folk have also been guided or are being guided by past and current figures, such as Edith Cavell, Sheila Lock, Sandra Dinneen, Brenda Arthur and Caroline Williams. With all these examples having such fervent desires to change society, why haven't we fully accomplished our common goal?
Women are still constantly associated with staying at home and looking after their children - but that's fine, because that's a mother's natural instinct to look after their child. But having to juggle your work life and family life can get incredibly stressful, especially if you are a single parent. Even if you have a lifestyle at home, you can still strive to be better in the workplace and in other aspects of life.
Women in Norfolk have come a long way in the past 50 years with the support of numerous role models. In the 1920s, Norwich had its first female politician and we now have many councillors. We have had a boost in female role models, but it simply isn't enough. There are more women in higher roles in senior management or as CEOs but we need more to inspire others.
Finally, it must be understood that feminism is not about asking women to become clones of men but is about allowing women to make their own choices and recognising their talents and skills and not being shy or over modest about those talents or skills.
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I have had the pleasure and the honour to be able to talk to some female figures currently in Norfolk and was able to gather some advice from them in order to override sexism and achieve the best you possibly can:
1. Treat others how you would like to be treated
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2. Don't apply yourself to stereotypes – if you believe you can do it, go for it
3. Treat everyone with the same level of respect regardless of their role or position
4. Never accept barriers
5. Be yourself
6. Be prepared for any challenge
Have you experienced sexism? Share your story at www.everydaysexism.com.
Bokan Abdul-Obitayo, 15, Wymondham College