Why I’m Choosing to Change.
This International Women’s Day, the theme is ‘challenge’.
What can I challenge to make a better world for women?
My first reaction is always to revert to my fight mode immediately.
I want to talk about and challenge the broader clear, and systematic inequalities that exist.
I want to get angry about the breezy way women’s health issues are swept under the carpet or put in the ‘too difficult to solve’ box.
I want to point out the distressing data that shows that even common and traumatic conditions like endometriosis can still take up to 7 to 8 years to be diagnosed. And 40% of women need 10 or more GP appointments before being referred to see a specialist.
But most of all, I want to make sure my nieces, goddaughters, or any of those bright, sparky young beans we’re watching skip to school today, never face a future where they feel unheard.
I don’t want them to have symptoms brushed aside as a disease attacks their bodies; I don’t want them to sit strapped to a table to give birth because the monitors aren’t working and the doctors are too busy. And I don’t want them to feel they’re too fat and lazy to do sport because we still haven’t learned enough about what hormones do to girls bodies while they grow.
But to make that change, I know I’ve also got to be the change. To challenge the way I see my world — which is so often through eyes that cannot see others' experiences, the trials that are faced and the barriers that need to be broken.
For my part, I’m pledging to stop sitting by the sidelines and start getting involved.
- To listen to and find funding for research that gets to the heart of the issue and designed by women for women.
- To get involved in and encourage others to back campaigns that open the doors on new perspectives, increase our understanding and provide the stepping stones toward a better way forward.
- To work with those who are likeminded. Individuals and businesses progressing our view of what it means to be a healthy woman.
- To speak out and relentlessly challenging those who perpetuate shame and outdated ways for women to measure their worth.
- To constantly challenge all my assumptions apart from believing in our ability to change things for the better.
I’d value all of your thoughts and opinions on what needs and can be changed. And where those bright spots are that show we are moving toward shutting the gender health gap forever. #choosetochallenge #IWD