On International Women’s Day, it is always a day to reflect where I have been and where I am going with my life.
I thought I would share some personal story as the world has changed so quickly that if I was to say:
“ Wearing jeans to school was prohibited” or
“The only choices for career were teacher, nurse or office worker” or
“Women always take the married name of their husband” you would think I
was a Handmaid from the “Handmaids Tale” by Margaret Atwood.
But only 45 years ago, this was some of the choices in my life that changed with the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Finally in 1972, we were “allowed” to wear jeans to school.
In the 1970’s, more career choices happened for women.
In my town in 1979 when I married my husband, I could simply keep my own name by ticking a box on the marriage registration form. As his mother’s name was Jean Lytton, I thought being called Jane Lytton, it would be too confusing and I was proud of the “Gardner” name.
So i did a video to celebrate International Women’s Day today to reflect on who were some of the women who inspired me (who’ve I’ve never met) to shape the person I am.
I was a dedicated subscriber to Ms Magazine with the voices of Gloria Steinmen and others to help shape my choices on who I want to be in my life.
I was inspired by Jane Goodall and her mission to study apes so I directed myself into Science and Zoology. I was an average student and there was a economic downturn when I graduated so I went into Structural Drafting which used my creative artistic drawing skills instead. My lesson from university still carry on as I learn new things every day.
I was impressed by Shirley Chisolm who ran for the presidential nomination in 1968 as an African American woman at a time of upheaval in the United States. She was the first African American woman to be elected into Congress. You can find out more about her at the National Women’s History Museum
(Now, there are many amazing women in the history of Canada where I live but that is for another day.)
Today I wanted to celebrate some of the women who have come to fight for what they believe whether it is Malala Yousafzai who continued to speak out about education for girls in Afghanistan or the non-profit organization, Women who Code who encourage girls to get into coding and technology as a career or even the Pussyhat Protest where women decided to march to protest.
So, who are your women that inspire you?