Boloh Helpline advisor Maryroma Morris writes about recognising the power of celebrating what women have achieved this last year, and working towards a more equal world for future generations of women and girls.
It’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 has been difficult for humanity as a whole, but the pandemic has further exacerbated the inequalities faced by women in our society: at home, at work and in daily social life.
On average over 65% of people accessing the Boloh Helpline are women. These are women who are struggling financially, trying to cope with children, balancing home learning on top of a household and care responsibilities, women with partners, women without partners, women who are unemployed, women leaving jobs to take care of their family, women being abused in the home, women made redundant, women working with reduced flexibility, women working from home, women working more hours, women getting paid less, women who are students, women on the frontline as cleaners, caterers, carers, nurses, shop staff, teachers, business owners (working with extra risk as women of colour) – women doing it all while navigating through the pandemic.
We must recognise the role that women play during this ongoing pandemic. It is humbling to see that women are at the core of social care work in the UK - paid and unpaid – and saddening that many are not supported enough by what’s in place. Through the calls and chats I can empathise but most times I am humbled by their experiences and their courage to call in for support; by their perseverance when faced with adversity and by the many roles women uphold. Our aim is to provide a space for people to feel listened to and respected, to uplift them by making sure they have a say in decisions made about their own support. To support with emotional health, financial help and ensuring they have awareness of what they are entitled to while providing tools in being more resilient.
We need to #ChooseToChallenge the regression in equality that has been brought to light but also remember to celebrate #EverydayCourage displayed by women who continue to make significant contributions to functioning society. Let’s continue to empower other women and girls to have hope that they are not alone, that there are networks out there to support you. Praise our resilience. Celebrate how we’ve overcome challenges while supporting those who are still challenged. Stand back and appreciate how women are helping other women. I see you building support networks. I see you making connections. I see you managing your own struggles while lending a helping hand. I see you empowering girls as they face their own unique inequalities and building them up so that they are a part of the change.
Let’s remember ourselves every day. As International Women’s Day approaches, celebrate our importance and continue on the journey to making a more equal world for women and girls today, tomorrow and in future.
Have a look below for more information on upcoming celebrations as well as events on the impact of COVID-19 Crisis on Women and girls:
International Women's Day - #ChooseToChallenge