Good morning and HAPPY International Women’s Day!

Today is the day that the world should stand united and show their support for the equality of the sexes, and this is a great thing and a wonderful day. Except for the fact of course, the really people should be doing that every other day of the year as well.

Whatever, we’ll get there, right now let’s focus on today and what you need to know:

To celebrate IWD 16, we are being encouraged to #PledgeForParity, both men and women alike. By doing so we can take a CONCRETE step to helping to achieve the gender parity more quickly, something that is currently forecast to balance in 2133, (basically, not in your lifetime, or your children’s but maybe, maybe it’ll come about for your granddaughter).

By pledging party, you are calling for gender balanced leadership, respect, and for more inclusive and flexible cultures and less gender biased.

Something that in 2016, I cannot believe we’re having to fight for, but here we are.

We are incredibly lucky that we live in a country where, being born with a vagina isn’t the curse it once was, parents, whether they be them farmers or kings, are no longer frustrated and saddened by the absence of a willy. As a wife in the UK, you are no longer at risk of having your head chopped off if you can not produce a son and heir.

But. This is far from the case in many countries, where sexism and inequality is rife. We forget about it sometimes, because, as with most things in our lives: if we don't want to see something, we often just won't. In many countries the world over, women are being abused, treated like property and made to live terrible lives.

Sometimes we really do forget how good we've got it. But, focusing closer to home for a minute, does it not shock you that here in the UK we are still having to fight for the right to live an equal life, simply because we lost the genetic lottery that gave us a 50-50 chance upon arrival?

It has been proven that really, women can do anything men can do, (don’t be the twat that pops up now with something ridiculous like ‘having a willy’), because really, we can, and we do. In fact, in many cases - we are doing things better... and that's not me being ridiculous, that is me being EQUAL. (See how nice it is to speak openly about how men are better at some things AND women are better at some things?)

Thanks to the unrelenting work of our foremothers; attitudes have changed greatly. Women are  finally being put into perspective, men can see them as more than just mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives and in fact, in many cases, I think the men in my generation have a much greater respect for women than those previously because we were raised by some truly astonishing women. 

Yet despite all of this, the hard work, the good intentions, we are such a long way from equal. In fact, women now are unhappier than we have ever been before. The pressure on us is enormous, and although it’s subtle, it is very much there. We are having to tow a very narrow line here, ensuring that we work our hardest, be the best that we can be, all the time, having to smash down the prejudices in our way. So even though we SEEM to be doing bloody well, we are world leaders, CEOs and billionaires, and have more than proven our worth, we still aren’t treated the same. 

And I know there will be some of you out there saying: “well this doesn’t really affect me...” and I’m going to need for you to shut up and think again.

Man or woman, old or young, this affects you.

And the change will only come about if we can stand together and pledge that we are willing to BE the change.

This is not one of those things that just gets better or that you can ignore. It’s not like the block of cheese at the back of the fridge that you can just pretend isn’t there. It isn’t like leaving the washing up in the hope that someone else will do it because EVENTUALLY you’ll need clean plates.

Because eventually isn’t good enough when it comes to equality, not even slightly.

Now is good enough.

Five years ago would have been better.

Please, today, take the time to think about your lives, and think about the ones that you want for your children. The respect that you want for them, and in turn, hope that they can give. The opportunities you want for them. The pride you want them to have.

If we don’t act now, this could just be a dream. Please take the time today to #PledgeForParity.

And then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after, until one day, you won’t need to do it anymore.