A woman’s wish list

NS March 8th, 2010

I’ve been trying to decide what to write today, on International Women’s Day. There are so many issues I could explore, explain, shout about, get angry,  sad and wax lyrical about. But today, I am not in the mood for any of that. All I want to write is what needs to change. So, in no particular order, a few demands I’d like to make of the British government.

Give women absolute rights over their bodies and reproductive choices. This means allowing women as young as 25 to be sterilised if they do not wish to have children; granting no-questions-asked access to safe, inexpensive and immediately available contraception and abortion; and allowing women to birth their babies where, with whom and in whatever manner they see fit.

Require employers to keep and make transparent all records relating to the pay levels of their employees as they relate to skill level, length of employment and educational background. Heavily fine and penalise employers breaking the law by discriminating on the basis of gender or parental status.

Set out directives requiring that, wherever possible, meaningful, part-time and flexible work of all skill levels be made available to all employees, especially those with dependants or caring responsibilities.

Normalise, support and protect breastfeeding as a woman’s prerogative and a baby’s human right.

Produce a Parliament that is representative of the people it governs. If this means all-women, all-racial-minority shortlists, so be it.

Decriminalise the selling of one’s body but make buying another’s illegal and punishable.

Open childcare centres with fully-trained, well-paid staff, longer hours, greater flexibility, more individualised care, more outdoor space, healthier food and less expensive fees. Subsidise, subsidise, subsidise.

Stop blaming victims and demand that perpetrators of rape and domestic violence be held entirely accountable for their actions.

Put news relating to women’s rights, health and lives in the main bit of the paper, not the bloody ‘Lifestyle’ section or in ‘women’s supplements.’

Force anyone printing and distributing images of women, be it in advertising, promotion or media, to disclose when and to what extent said images have been altered.

Take your harmful, war-mongering, mother-blaming, woman-hating, gender-conforming, patriarchal norms and shove it up your collective arses.

13 Responses to “A woman’s wish list”

  1. Abso-bloomin-lutely.

    NS Reply:

    @incurable hippie, I like the use of ‘bloomin’ in the middle there. I normally go for the more expletive version. I may have to start using that!

    incurable hippie Reply:

    @NS, Yes, I usually go for the expletive too, not sure why I didn’t here, but use and enjoy!!

  2. SandyCalico says:

    Hear hear. It makes me sad to see how much does need to change.

    NS Reply:

    @SandyCalico, It does indeed. But I hope we can change at least a few of the things on this list in our lifetime!

  3. Gappy says:

    Would just like to add my voice to the collective cheer!

  4. Nova says:

    It is very worrying how far we still need to go before we are considered equal.
    I am at the moment in the middle of a huge legal battle where my role as the ‘home maker’ sorry hate that word….goes against me. It is as though I have no rights/brains because I have been looking after five children instead of earning money.Huge huge changes are needed in our legal system to support women in this situation. Grrrr…

  5. Luschka says:

    I love the second last one. That would be so good for young women especially! And the first one is one that I am passionate about. Sunday’s ‘Reclaiming Birth Rally’ in London was amazing! Good post.

  6. Expat Mum says:

    Agreed. Even the little things like me not being allowed to report that I had inadvertently driven through a toll booth here (USA) and didn’t see that my toll-pass was on the floor of my car. All I wanted to do was tell them to put it in my account rather than send me a violation ticket. I can’t because the pass is in my husband’s name even though I answered all their “security” questions correctly. Grrr.

  7. Ellen Keim says:

    What strikes me is how universal your list is. That’s why we need an INTERNATIONAL Woman’s Day. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  8. Inga says:

    You just rock. Really. Great wishes, great list.

  9. Cheering (and sighing) along.

  10. Hear hear – for me its about respecting us as women and our bodies and our aspirations in the same way that society does unthinkingly for men

    Great post