How women have changed

suffragetteIn 1913, the first long-awaited step was taken towards political equality between men and women when a suffragette threw herself under the King’s horse.

I believe that this momentous historic event shows us how passionate and determined women can be in the face of prejudice. Now, as a teenage girl in 2012, I am extremely thankful that she jumped in front of that horse, otherwise the future might not seem so bright. When I think of this heroic event, the phrase, ‘drastic times call for drastic measures’ springs to mind; every so often a drastic event can encourage us to strive for more.

Emily Davison sacrificed her life for a cause she truly believed in and people sat up and took notice of a cause, that was previously too easy to ignore. Women wanted change and women wanted to change. They saw more possibilities and opportunities, outside the restricting environment of the family home, and desired for more in life.

Today women can own their own business, vote, get divorced, enrol to serve in the armed forces and having children is their choice, it’s not obligatory. Women have the freedom to make choices and shape their own lives and I am incredibly gratified by this fact.

However, even in this modern world, all is not perfect and women still need to continue the fight for equality. I’m talking not of physically fighting, but instead, of keeping the plight of the suffragettes present in our minds and combating the remaining struggles. I fear that young people might consider it okay to forget about these issues because Women’s Rights are enshrined in our laws and should therefore be considered to be checked off the equality list. It may sound obvious but a continued awareness of gender discrimination is always required whether we live in a perfect world or not, so as to keep us from reverting in any way.

The issues of sexual harassment, rape and sexism are still present in the UK alongside a prominent pay gap of 14.9%. I don’t wish to dwell on these issues, as I believe that in the near future, when all the Superwomen in the world have worked their superpowers to the max, theses issues will cease to exist.

However, as previously mentioned, we do need to continue to focus on the remaining obstacles that lie before us, in order to provide that extra kick of motivation to strive harder. Looking back at the past reminds us just how lucky we really are but looking forward brings the realisation of remaining inequality, awaiting confrontation. We are able to live in a world where inspirational women from our families, at our schools, in our workplaces, written about in books and online are supporting and motivating forces, providing us with role models. There is worldwide community of opinionated women who are here to inspire the next generation to strive harder and achieve more.

I have reached the conclusion that women need to continue to inspire and educate the future generation. Yes, after many months of researching and reading about great women, I stumbled upon the obvious answer: inspire others. However, sometimes inspiring can accidently be interpreted as ‘shoving-my-opinions-into-your-head’. Of course, I do not wish to force people to share my opinions but I believe that equality and Women’s Rights are kind of like Sex Ed: it’s a little bit awkward but you do need to know it and it is important. I want to keep the knowledge I have learnt and use it in my life, holding onto the values wherever I go in my life. I hope that girls of the future will happily dream of their perfect wedding alongside dreams of becoming Prime Minister or working for NASA. I know it is a tad extreme but I feel as though it should be normal, for young children to dream about a crazy occupation for their future. If boys get to dream of being astronauts, why can’t girls? I think that career aspirations are just as important as personal aspirations.

Career aspirations leads onto my next point about why I believe that it is important for women to own their own business. It is just as important to inspire the younger generation and allow women to once again prove that they are as good as any man.

There are many influential women in the world of literature, science and art but by encouraging women to take a risk and start their own businesses, we are opening doors for more inspirational women. Now when the younger generation looks for role models and idols, they can look in any direction and find an influential woman, in every possible field of work. Young girls are not limited to one ideal career; we have the freedom to dream and dream big because of these entrepreneurial women, who take the chance and start-up their own companies and projects. Women who own their own business show us that we don’t have to be confined to the walls of a set profession, but we can create our own profession with a mixture of confidence, bravery and drive.

Women of the past have worked their socks off to create world we live in today. When I now look to my future there are so many options for me to choose from, because of the female role models, who have given me the confidence to stand out from the crowd and take risks. I am grateful to the many that have inspired me throughout my life so far but especially so to Emily Davison, who jumped in front of that horse, for she took the first step towards political equality for women.

I plan on following in her footsteps by continuing to strive for Women’s Rights and complete gender equality. Perhaps minus the horse though.

Francesca Stocker is a: Want to be a published writer?’ competition winner

2 Comments on How women have changed

  1. It was a great experience to work with such a bright and passionate young woman, I congratulate her on winning the competition and wish her the best of luck with her future writing endeavours!

  2. Jane May Moss // February 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm // Reply

    Way to go, Francesca! So impressed.
    Massive congrats on your well-deserved victory!
    best wishes from Janie (your mum’s pal from NYC)

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