This was the question my 10 year old JJ asked me the other day.
"I'm not sure babe" was my response. "I suppose it is because the mummies are the ones who physically have the baby and then it just happens that they stay home for a while, often they are breastfeeding. Also in our country they get paid to take leave and stay home whereas the daddy can only have paid leave 20 weeks after the baby has been born and even then it is only if the mummy goes back to work, the government are not making easy for the dads to stay at home".
This wasn't enough for him though and he carried on "but things are changing aren't they mummy? When you were a little girl no dads ever dropped their kids off to school did they and some do now? It is OK for daddies to stay at home and for mums to go to work instead now isn't it?".
This of course opened up a great conversation about how it was more than OK for women to be working nowadays and to be doing all the things that men do and vice versa. Thank goodness things are progressing here in the UK and whilst our legislation in regard to maternity and paternity pay is slow to get to the standard it needs to be it is at least moving in the right direction.
Sadly the same can not be said for every country the world over and there are still many countries were the sexes are treated completely differently. One thing that does seem to stand out across the world sadly is that poverty is affecting women and girls disproportionately. Of course poverty in this country is not quite the same as poverty in third world nations but never the less there are far too many women going without food so they can offer the very little they have to their children.
|Photo Credit - Karen Walrond/ONE|
The NGO (non-governmental organisation) that I travelled to Ethiopia with in October 2012 have launched a fabulous new resource for anyone who has an interest in seeing an end to extreme poverty and particularly for those who have an interest in girls and women's affairs. Click on the link to go and visit the ONE Girls & Women initiative. Each month there is a guest curator who will tell you a little of their story and also introduce some great reads, videos, play lists or photos that have spoken to them. It is a great place to stay in touch with what is happening in the fight against extreme poverty. ONE work with all the big charities and aid agencies so if you already have a favourite charity that you support you do not need to feel compromised by supporting the campaigning and advocacy work that ONE do too. Some of my favourite web pages of ONE are the Living Proof ones where you can read about the success stories and how progress is being made and change is happening in the fight against extreme poverty.
As per always with ONE, they will never ask for money from you, what they want is your voice. We know that when we collectively come together people in positions of power start to listen and change can happen, so why don't you sign up and add your voice. This month they are asking people to add their name to a petition to show that we believe those living in Sub-Saharan Africa also have a right to electricity. Currently 7 out of 10 people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not and they will give birth by candlelight or eat food which could not be refrigerated adequately. Read more about why it is important that people can be lifted out of energy poverty here.
You might not have heard of the ONE Campaign before if you live in the UK, as sadly the profile here is fairly low but don't let that put you off. Take a look, find out who ONE are and realise they are credible and have nearly 6 million members across the world. Do you want to sign up too? Go on, it is easy and will mean that the latest information arrives direct to your inbox.
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