Alison is a Psychologist who holds a BSc in Psychology, MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (awarded with First Class Honours) and MSc in Health Psychology. Alison’s clinical and research interests are in women’s mental health, particularly in the area of gender, reproductive and sexual health. As a successful freelance health writer, her articles have been included in The Ultimate Maternity Guide and Easy Parenting magazines amongst others. Alison is the President of Network Ireland Kildare Branch, an organisation that supports women in business, the professions and the arts. She is married and has three young children, aged 5, 4 and 2.
Because I am a Girl I ask…why we haven’t had a woman in the Oval Office yet. Girls can’t aspire to role-models that they don’t see. Having a female President of the USA won’t automatically change the situation for girls’ equality worldwide but it would start to change the conversation.
Because I am a Girl I believe …that every girl should have the right to access education. I love to learn, in fact I may be addicted to it, but I realise how lucky I am to have the choice. I recently accepted a place in UCD’s Clinton Institute on their MA in Media & International Conflict and I am counting down the days until September! Education is a human right and the key to the liberation of girls and women all over the world.
Because I am a Girl I hope…that my daughter grows up in a world and in a country, where her gender is never a barrier and that she is free to love, learn and live as she so chooses.
Because I am a Girl I wonder…why people always ask me ‘how do you do it all when you have three children?’ but never ask the same question to my husband who works and co-parents in equally hard measure.
Because I am a Girl I dream…of a time when ‘feminist’ is not a dirty word, when equality is the norm, when the world realises that society doesn’t succeed when half of it is supressed.
Because I am a Girl I remember…all the ‘Mum’ things that my Dad did for us as a single parent. I only realised how hard it must have been for him when I had my own children. Thank you Dad.
Because I am a Girl I like…climbing mountains and running because I find myself focused solely on what I am doing and you get so far that you can’t stop in the middle, you just have to keep going.
Because I am a Girl I dislike …having been called ‘bossy’, ‘pushy’ and ‘high-maintenance’ at various points over the course of my career – I’m yet to hear these adjectives with reference to male colleagues.
Because I am a Girl I feel …lucky. I have always believed that women are lucky. In the face of much evidence to the contrary I believe we are lucky to be women because women share so much more than men. Women can talk to each other on an intimate level that most men find unbelievable. That is our strength. We understand each other; we understand the needs of other women.
Because I am a Girl I celebrate…how far we have come in the struggle for female equality. It is easy to despair at how much is left to do but we must be equally mindful of how much has already been done.