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Today is International Women’s Day all over the world. On this day we celebrate the achievements of women, especially those who have contributed to making the world a better place for all of us. We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. We all have a part to play in this, and need to help ourselves and each other to be our very best, and to create opportunities for others.

At The Shona Project, we fully support all our sisters (and brothers) in Ireland, who are addressing the inequalities and the barriers that make it a little harder to make it as a women, than it is for men. For us, we are working very hard to address the internal barriers that often stop women from becoming all that they can be. We know that many girls grow up under a lot of pressure to be perfect, something we can never be. We think that if we can’t reach that level of perfection that we have failed, and are not good enough. Our self-confidence is destroyed, leaving us with no belief that we can be someone important, and make a positive contribution to this world.

Here’s the thing, we are all a work in progress. Our early years, teens and twenties are the perfect time to grow and learn, to make mistakes, to try new things, to fail on a massive scale. Every day is a learning experience and a time to figure out who you are, and who you want to be. If you embrace this, then by the time you start to get wrinkles, and everything starts to sag, you are ready to flourish, because on the inside, you are ready to fly.

Facebook CEO and top lady, Cheryl Sandberg tells a story about a time when she was giving a presentation to a group of about 100 employees. At the end of a Q&A session, she said that she would take only 2 more questions. Every woman in the room put their hand down, but all the men kept their hands up. Why is this? Possibly because the women were afraid that their question might be silly, or that someone else’s question was more important. Our questions are valid, our views are important, we all have a role to play in this world.

We want to eradicate feminism. We want to live in a world where there is no need for it to exist, as it’s defunct, past it, irrelevant, vintage. We want the next generation of girls to see no barriers, because they are raised by women who are astronauts, engineers, business leaders, change makers, and risk takers.

Raise your hands girls, keep them up high, and make sure the world hears your questions, and gives you the answers you need.

Happy International Women’s Day x