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Choose to Challenge

UN Women Yihui Yuan

A guest blog from social worker @babs_fitz

I came across an online article by Jenny Proudfoot (in Marie Claire magazine) which, I think, essentially captures the strength, influence, drive and determination of some of the influential and inspirational women over the last 100 years.

Proudfoot rolls through the decades from the 1920’s to the 2020’s sharing what we have learned from women such as; Pankhurst and Curie to Parks and Gandhir to Yousafzai and Arden.

Sometimes we are saturated by social media’s motivational, inspirational ‘quotes of the day’ that aim to help us all solider on through tough times, for me these quotes can often be face-less and empty – I’m a sucker for someone’s life story! The article gives a snippet of these women’s lives; their legacy.  You may find the article (if you have a minuet to read it), not worthy of a discussion, but for me it grabbed my interest and I found myself reading up on these women and considering what it means to be women in our society; the challenges, the inequality, the discrimination that exists as it did 100 years ago.

These inspirational, motivated, dedicated, outspoken, truth seeking, powerful, intelligent and brave women demonstrate that change is possible.

The link to social work, for me, is the inspiration to follow your heart, fight for what matters, be radical and promote awareness of women’s strengths, resilience, beauty and right to equality (oh and ability to multi-task!). Girl Power isn’t just a 90’s phenomenon; women have been kicking ass for centuries!

“Men still run the world; I’m not sure it’s going so well”                                 

Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and Philanthropist.

For one of my last student social work essay’s I quoted the poet, civil activist and author, Maya Angelou’s poem “I’ve learned…” because her words echo a voice of experience and encouragement. The short but powerful poem fits with my (social work) values and reminds me that the wellbeing of the people we work with is fundamental in enabling positive change. Here it is again…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

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