March 8th 2017.

Happy International Women’s Day!

What can I say?

When we hear about foetal and infant remains in a sewage chamber in Tuam that was connected to a Mother and Babies home in the 1950’s. That a young woman, Grace, with intellectual disabilities could be left in an abusive foster home for 20 years. That women still do not have autonomy over their bodies. That female ministers believe removing a 14 year penalty on women who procure an abortion would give a license to abusive men. That men are paid more than their female counterparts.

And this is just in Ireland.

That a woman can be kidnapped and repeatedly raped and beaten for two months. That women are cut and mutilated as part of their country’s traditions. That women are married at a young age without their consent. That women are sold into sex slavery under the belief they’re bound for a better life.

You worry for women. You wonder have we regressed? You wonder how we can right so many wrongs. It can become quite over whelming.

Then I find a little faith when I think about the amazing women in my life. From my mother and sisters carving a path for themselves. My boss as she juggles a growing family with a hectic business. My girlfriends who surprise me every day with their strength and resilience. The hundreds of women I meet in my workplace, each with their own story to tell. Asked recently in an interview who I admired most in the world, all I could think of were women. Admittedly I was flooded with images of Kim Kardashian – panic clearly set in – but I saw my way to happily saying JK Rowling. An impressive woman in her own right. Not simply for her great books but how she continues to hold herself to a certain standard and can wipe out ignorance in a witty 140 characters.

So today, on International Women’s Day, let us remember the amazing women in our lives and those who have gone before us. Let us stand together and fight for the injustices that continue to prevail. Let us love and acknowledge the men who strive for women’s rights as much as we do. But not forget that the scale is uneven. And it is days like today that remind us we need to continue that fight. For however long.

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