Because I am a Girl I ask …questions. Lots and lots of questions. I question myself and my world around me most of all. I constantly ask myself if I am fulfilling my potential. Without questions, there are no answers. I am the only one who can make change in my world.
Because I am a Girl I believe …in doing more. I believe in living in the moment and pushing hard to achieve my goals, whatever they may be. I believe in having a loose plan for the future, but nothing so rigid that it stops me from achieving in the present. Things like the desire for a family somewhere down the line often stop women from feeling they should be applying for bigger roles, better positions, extreme adventures – the question of ‘what if’ hangs over too many of our heads. It’s important to live for what we want to do right now – no one knows what the future holds; there are too many variables. We can only work with the information we currently have access to.
Because I am a Girl I hope …that one day, other women find the power and strength to help themselves, as well as other women. In the Western World, we are being offered chances left, right and centre – it is up to us to prove our worth. No amount of quotas, laws or campaigns can truly elevate women in the workforce or at home. It is up to us to demand respect, and lead by example. And for those women in developing countries, who possess unknown strength but are not given a chance to show it, we need to be their voice and use our power so as they may be offered the same incredible opportunities that we are.
Because I am a Girl I wonder … when the patronising behaviour will stop. It happens every hour of every day, even in supposedly civilised professions and educated environments. It happens to me, frequently. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing for those who think they are being smart.
Because I am a Girl I dream …that one day women won’t resign themselves to being less than they can be. It frustrates me to see so much missed potential. There are still too many women who think they can’t compete at the top – they hold themselves back from job interviews until they feel they have over 90% of the qualifications; men will apply for that same job when they feel they have less than 60% of the qualifications.
Because I am a Girl I remember … watching Mary Poppins for the first time as a child, and asking my mother what suffragettes were (even in all their Disney-fied glory). I might have been six years old but couldn’t get my head around the fact that women were once not allowed to vote! What’s more embarrassing is that the right for women to vote in Ireland is still less than 100 years old – there are women alive in this country who were born into a society expecting them to have no public voice. Progress is too slow for a supposedly advanced society.
Because I am a Girl I like … the freedom of choice. We have the ability to work, rest and play in the same way that boys do. But on top of that we can also do things they will truly never be able to, like carry children – how empowering is that? It is up to us to decide what we choose to do. It is our life, our speech, our bodies – we must truly own that; never take what freedom means for granted – and therefore know why it is so important to stand up for it.
Because I am a Girl I dislike … the term ‘having it all’. What is ‘all’? It means different things to different people – to some people the list could be three things, to others it’s endless. It is a term filled with spoken pressure and unspoken demands. I once read a paragraph that focused on women, empowerment and the 1950s onwards – the author said that “we were told we could do anything; instead we heard that we had to do everything” – and it still reigns true for so many of us today. Having balance is what we should be striving for.
Because I am a Girl I feel … determined, driven, capable. And we all are! It just takes some of us longer to realise, and act on it, than others.
Because I am a Girl I celebrate…who I am. I don’t try to be what anyone else thinks I should be. I’m proud of me as me