Finding our voices – what International Women’s Day means to us

Louise Correcha and Danielle Ross Walls

When we started talking about sharing the difficulties we were facing trying to re-enter the workforce as mums—and thereby hopefully help others experiencing similar struggles—we couldn’t have imagined the power of the global movement we were about to witness in the two years that would see our book being developed to publication.

Of course, many could sense it emerging. “We have resources,” said Hollywood actor and equality activist Reece Witherspoon. “But women who are workers in this country have nothing to gain in certain times by coming forward. But we want to help. It gives me strength to hopefully help other women.” This was just one example that the collective whisper was getting louder.

Last year, the silence breakers of the global #MeToo movement helped give voice to the victims of sexual assault and harassment around the world. Then 700,000 female farmworkers sent a letter to voice their solidarity. And the Time’s Up initiative was set up to help fight sexual violence and harassment in the workplace.

We couldn’t feel more humbled, amazed and privileged that our book was birthed and nurtured in the midst of what feels like a truly seismic shift in the history and evolution of humanity.

It seems people are more than ever finding strength through sharing and validating the very stories that once made them feel weak.  Indeed, among the many things the phenomenal women in Working Mums reflect upon are the times they stayed quiet. But perhaps not any more. Because there is a growing sense that power really can come from the quietest of voices. And that perhaps the word ‘power’ itself is about to have a very different meaning.

So, as we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK and #PressforProgress on gender parity this International Women’s Day, we are honoured to share the stories and voices of the women in Working Mums.

To us, International Women’s Day signifies, above all else, the celebration of women’s voices becoming collectively louder and—perhaps more importantly—increasingly being heard. The fact that we can join that conversation through this book is a privilege.

Because we truly feel that women stepping up and joining together is the way forward for all of us.

 

 

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