Unfiltered Thoughts: Count Her In

Every year, 8 March marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing mission for gender equality. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is “Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.” It’s a rallying cry for women’s economic empowerment.

We invite you to share your unfiltered thoughts on why investing in women is crucial and how we can speed up progress towards gender equality. Here are some areas we’re keen to explore:

  • Economic Inclusion: What’s holding women back from fully participating in the economy? Let’s break down barriers and create pathways for economic inclusion.
  • Education and Employment: How does education impact a woman’s economic success? How can we ensure equal access to jobs and skill development?
  • Financial Services and Literacy: How do financial services and literacy shape women’s economic empowerment? How can we ensure access for every woman and girl?
  • Capacity Building: Let’s empower women and girls to lead. What initiatives promote learning, earning, and leadership?
We’re all ears and open hearts. Share your stories, research, and game-changing ideas. No matter who you are or where you’re from, we want to hear from you.

Content Warning

The following unfiltered thoughts may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.

 

Investing in women is not just about the equality

It’s about unleashing untapped potential. When barriers to economic inclusion are dismantled, everyone benefits. Education is key—it’s not just about access to jobs, but also skill development and leadership opportunities. Financial literacy is essential for economic empowerment. Let’s ensure every woman and girl can access financial services and education. By investing in capacity-building initiatives, we empower women to lead and thrive. It’s time to accelerate progress towards gender equality and create a future where every woman’s contribution is valued and celebrated. #IWD2024

Anonymous 23, Pakistan

 

How can empowering women boost the economy?

Everyone knows what gender equality means. Yet the opposite is still prevalent today. To me, the most common factor is the economic disparity women face in the workplace. Just how many women are still getting underpaid because of the tendency for their male counterparts to have a bigger influence on business decisions?

What good to the economy can women bring if we were to invest in them? Well first, providing male and female colleagues equal pay boosts the morale of both parties. As a result, there would be higher productivity and thus higher company revenue. Second, equal pay allows women to make more tactful decisions regarding childbearing. As a result, they would make clearer decisions on how many children they would like to have and educate properly. Third, empowering women would motivate them to be more responsive in addressing the prevalent issue of gender inequality. As a result, they would take up leadership positions through initiatives like campaigns and conferences, which would allow women from all walks of life to voice their opinions and advocate for proper social change.

In conclusion, investing more in women can lead to a thriving, sustainable, and healthy environment for all. Hence, I think it is time we focus on empowering women more.

Wilson (he/him) 23, WA


Taking care of your job or your child?

As a mother, it’s pretty hard to have a balance between taking care of your child and taking care of your job. There’s no way to be as much as you want on any of these and you will never be enough.

The system has been created on male standards, and workforce is not suitable for mothers. We are working more than 15 hours per day without weekends and nobody see it. If we can just create a new system that allows us to have that balance, our mental and physical health wouldn’t be as affected as now and we will be able to be present in both scenarios.

Carolina (she/her) 29 VIC

 

Being a Woman is a Disability Under Capitalism

One of the things that withholds women from achieving the same economic goals as men is directly tethered to the oppression that a capitalistic economic system inherently relies on to flourish. This means that in order for women to enrich themselves and gain positions of power they have to consent to oppressing other women by either ignoring their struggles or subjecting them to the same obstacles they allied with the oppressor to surpass. This puts women at a major disadvantage, where they must choose between remaining in the same subjugated economic position to men or becoming equals to them by adopting their oppressive attitudes. In short, women have to destroy and reconstruct the economic system in order for it to be truly accessible to them. Otherwise, they will be participating in a system that at no point seeks to empower them, despite what those who succeed may think.

Ezra (he/they) 16 Spain

 

Who wants to be a woman?

Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things was a strange read, but I couldn’t help acknowledging how uncomfortable the female body is. These girls are stuck waiting, in a halfway house between where they were and something much worse. At the end they are given luxury goods and “unscrew bottles and squish creams into their hands and press sticky gloss to their flaking lips with their dirty fingers”. Each of the ten women represents a type of woman, but each has been deemed a “slut” by the media and thrown into this in-between where they’ve turned more animal than anything else. Yet being passed these luxuries they melt and go along willingly with this too-clean of a man who transports them to some unknown.

Things like high heels might look uncomfortable, but they are nothing compared to the pain of our biology and dealing with a corrupt misogynistic society. How the clean men keep us appeased by these things, drawing our focus with trinkets that keep us from how difficult it is. We can’t feel how soft our skin is, only how coarse it feels to be in it.

Feminism on Roids

Women don’t want to be women. To never have a period again. To fill your body with testosterone, a steroid, a stimulant used by elite athletes and gym users. Not estrogen, the drug of mood swings, tear-stained pillowcases, and docility which makes you placid within this system of oppression. Wanting to be a woman is fiction, an utter fabrication, it’s complete bullshit. There are some things I love, but they’re outweighed by tender breasts, headaches, cramps, vats of blood, and heartache.

Josephine (she/her), 23

 

One Dimensional Woman

Why are women expected to be one dimensional creatures in order to be successful and taken seriously? Why is not acceptable to be more than one adjective? For example, a business woman has to make her work her entire personality? No room for any other description is allowed to exist in her atmosphere. Personally, I paint female nude figures so I am labelled a vulgar woman. I then subconsciously have to curate my work and persona to not be sexual to fight so hard against the label put on me. I am only expected to be one thing and it is not even imaginable I could be something that doesn’t go hand in hand with what I do.

Anonymous 27 USA

 

Patriarchy as Miasma

Women can theoretically do as we please in society, yet the untended miasma of patriarchy holds us back. Most places do not prohibit the attendance of women anymore, yet when we impose on the space of a man we are met with reprimand and sexual harassment. The miasma infiltrates everywhere. Even my most progressive friends love seeing a woman ‘put in her place’. It’s like pornography to some. Everyone loves seeing a woman taken down a peg, countless videos circulate the internet of a woman saying something in earnest only for a man to retort with a brain dead one liner or reduce her to her sexual appeal. It’s a phenomenon I rarely see with the inverse gender configuration (in the most viewed spaces of the internet at least).

Patriarchy is far from deceased. Feminism should go far deeper than women’s choices, for as long as it remains unaddressed the miasma will infiltrate and infect any progress we make.

Anonymous 25 WA

 

The Art of Counting

I’ve always had an affinity for counting. The language of numbers is something that has and always will make sense to me. It flows naturally, like a language that came pre-programmed into my being. There is something so eloquent about its predictability. Objective righteousness not tainted by the capriciousness that surrounds us.

Though, as the figure that defines my age raises, I find myself more and more outcast from this world of rationality. A woman in a man’s world, many have said. Something so far removed from femininity for no reason at all.

And for what?

‘Count her in’ they say, though these words fall on deaf ears.

Rachael (she/her) 21 WA

 

Girlhood

I attend one of the highest performing all-girls schools in the state and it might just have saved my life.

Before I continue my spiel, I am not perfect. My year group is not perfect. The teachers and admin staff are not perfect. We still have exclusion, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, sexism even. It’s no surprise that these highly economically privileged ladies do not in fact realise this privilege, their superiority to ‘others’ is consistent. Mental health issues are attempted to be dealt with (probably better than at all-boys schools), but the school’s system has failed students again and again. All we have is each other (and some lucky, empathetic teachers).

I simply believe I have been placed in the best spot to help people, unlike if I was to be thrown into the public system. These pretentions and resources that my high school has offered me truly has kept me intellectually engaged and maintained my love of learning. In merely a couple hundred words I cannot completely and fully express both my gratitude and criticisms towards both the public and private systems, but I hope that this connected feeling of girlhood may one day shift from this high-end, high-performing, fancy private school and across the globe through the hearts and souls of every spirit. I hope we will one day be able to easily invest in all women, without these economic barriers to divide us when, really, we all deserve to learn how to learn.

Lily (she/her) 17 WA

 

Gender Equality starts with Mentality

I can’t say I have experienced the type of inequality women have experienced but from the women I know, I have observed and been told of certain situations where it has been very evident of inequality. One primary situation is when a female doctor has gained the knowledge required, has built recognised credibility, and earned respect as a doctor from fellow peers but to some people, she is sometimes perceived as a nurse. Of course, being a nurse is still a very reputable and respected position in the hospital, but from this experience, she takes it as very insulting as she has put a lot of time and effort into achieving the position of doctor. This is one example but I feel this gender allocation towards working roles stems from previous generations forcing people of specific genders towards specific working roles and this is reinforced by the media and people in positions of authority. Through its maintained longevity it has become the norm for the present and may continue for future generations. To break this thinking, we need to remove the link gender has to roles and embrace the mentality that all genders are capable of taking on any role or career path. To reinforce this notion of thinking, it needs to be reflected through our actions and interactions with others, what is released in all kinds of media (TV, social media, articles, etc.) to reinforce from various sources. This helps normalise this ideology for generations to come, it will open, and support creating opportunities to evolve it and show the realisation of how progressive society can be.

Aamir (he/him) 29 NSW

 

Hey girl (doctor)

I work as a junior doctor. Too often I get called ‘hey’, ‘girl’, or ‘nurse!’ or get asked to bring them some tea, and I always respond to them instead of correcting my patients unless I actually need my them to understand any medical advice I’m giving. There’s nothing inherently better or worse about any profession, but I’ve realised that many of my female-identifying colleagues experience the same, and it’s got me wondering why someone who appears stereo-typically female is assumed to be a nurse, and why we don’t feel like we are empowered enough to identify who we are? Why do I continue to smile and nod when someone demands something of me when they would never do the same of my male-identifying colleagues? Perhaps its time to reassess why, and maybe raising this concern is the first step to promoting women and girls to feel comfortable to assert themselves.

Anonymous 24 WA

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