I was lucky. I was brought up in a family that didn’t really have issues. I never considered that I could not do anything.
I found myself the only girl in the class of boys doing geometric drawing. I took the maths/science stream. I never once considered this odd.
Although like almost every woman I know I was sexually assaulted age 11 by a family friend, I had some idea that this was just the way of the world, and I needed to move on.
I really didn’t start to consider the consequences of being a woman until I entered the world of the entrepreneurial community, and took a more public face. A mere 4 years ago.
After being kicked in the guts (metaphorically) repeatedly by men who for some reason found me threatening, I saw that the effort I needed to put in to get to places where the path was mostly gold pathed for men. I experienced the chasm between my voice being taken with the same level of respect as the voice of men in my community. And I realised how my pay packet had suffered for years because of this.
I have spent years promoting men over myself. They had never questioned this, and often sailed into the sunset on the gold barge I built for them, never looking back.
I too had brought the myth that my role as a woman was to support the success of the man. To ensure his happiness. Subtle, subtle cultural manipulation.
Of course, there are truly remarkable men. I am so blessed to know many of them.
Today we celebrate women. Not because men do not need to be celebrated, but because women have as much right to a full life of agency as a man. And until every woman in the world has this, we will continue to honour women on this day each year.
To all those women and men who have suffered at great cost to pave the way for me. I salute you.
March 8th 2019
Photo taken March 8th 2019