Thank you to all the leading ladies (and a handful of men) who have read my debut book and started using the toolkit within it to make lasting change within the world.
Here are the postscript pages to my book for anyone who is interested in my wish for our world and the motivation behind writing, "Each Other: Why Women Must Empower Women". I'd love to hear your wishes; please do share in the comments or on social media so that we can all inspire each other.
My Wish For Our World
Women empowering women is a significant and challenging change which we collectively need to make. But in writing this book, and in seeing so many global humanitarian tragedies unfold over the last few years, I am also keenly aware that the exploration and toolkit contained here (the full copy book) is for those lucky enough to be in a position of privilege: for those who have a place to call home; who have employment; who have family and who are able to pick up books or newspapers and read about the world.
The most disempowered women are those who are fleeing political violence, living through famine, subjected to slavery or at the receiving end of extreme physical oppression. Oftentimes these issues are experienced all at once. There are millions of women worldwide for whom life offers more pain than most of us could even begin to imagine.
I think of the refugees who have perilously made their way in to the UK against all odds. Some are women, but the majority are men. Even in situations of extreme danger, it is the men who have more opportunity to flee, to hide and to survive due to the additional safety which their gender and biology carries. It is extremely difficult for the men, but near impossible for the women, given the additional setbacks and sexual violence which they face. It hurts me and haunts me that it is commonplace rhetoric to think of any human beings who are displaced and looking for new places to call home as “illegal”
I often wonder what would happen if the UK were to be submerged under water through a series of storms or destroyed by unprecedented earthquakes. Given the consequences of global warming, at some point within the next few centuries, if not sooner, it is not inconceivable that the UK could most probably be completely underwater. I wonder whether we will then expect the walls we have built around our borders to come down and whether we will see ourselves as “illegal” when searching for new homes.
Sadly, it is also commonplace to ignore issues faced by others and placate our consciences by believing that they are somebody else’s problem. Putting loose change in charity shakers and focussing on your own life in your own community is good, but it is just not good enough.
Hate is dangerous but so is complacency.
Owning a heart and a brain comes with the responsibility to know that everything we do or don’t do has an impact on someone else. Being silent, unaware or inactive has devastating consequences for the people who need our human kindness. In recent years within the UK there has been a trend to focus on giving and helping locally. This is all well and good, but as a country we have created and contributed to economic and social issues worldwide and therefore we also have a duty to effect positive and lasting change on both a local and global level.
Everyone has a right to shelter, food, warmth, love and compassion. Gender, sex, race, sexuality, nationality, age, religion and health should never be a barrier to full human rights. Many of us should also remember that the wealth we call ours was borne through the actions of empire, with unjust consequences which will last for centuries yet to come. The sun has yet to set on the issues caused by colonialism and the cultural imperialism which still remains.
Those of us who are privileged enough to have even the most basic of living opportunities must remember how very lucky we are. Those of us who have no home, no food and no nationality will have more imperative issues to act on than the toolkit activities in this book: educational curriculums, workplace quotas and disbanding golf clubs will certainly not be amongst them. But I do hope that in implementing the toolkit we are building a world which will be welcoming of all women and all men; which will break down its physical borders of greed and its psychological borders of fear.
My wish for the world is that we all work together to make it a happier and welcoming place for all. That we do not dance or capitalise on the misfortune of others. That we take responsibility for looking, listening and finding out about injustices the world over. That we take accountability for our part in the collective of humankind. It is not unrealistic that one day any one of us could be a refugee of sorts: as a result of the environment, of politics, of warfare or even just for being who we are. It is imperative that we support, champion and invest in each other. I implore you to be active in demonstrating human kindness, now and every single day, in our collective future.