As we lead up to International Women’s Day next week, we’ve nominated March to be our month to focus on inspirational women – some that we know and some whom we only know by reputation. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to contemplate what we can do now to improve the conditions of women in the future. As a mother, this is particularly close to my heart as I consider how life will unfold for our daughters and their daughters.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #Pledge for Parity. I wonder, what does that mean to you? My understanding is that we’re being encouraged to focus on the issues of gender equality and equal pay for men and women. Most certainly this is an area of concern for women and it deserves our attention, however, I’d love to know what do you see as the big issues for women in 2016? What comes up in conversation with your girlfriends or colleagues, your mothers and daughters?

Today I conducted a mini experiment in my clinic and asked some clients, “What do you feel are the main concerns for women right now?”  The response wasn’t about concerns for fair pay, it was more about fair play. I heard about women feeling lost, unhappy and unable to pursue their own passions.

I got the sense that our ambitions to DO THE BEST for ourselves and our families are putting us at risk of not having time to BE OUR BEST, to build connections, enjoy creativity and feel content.

Women contribute worldwide to social success, economic excellence, cultural change and political prowess. In recent generations, equality for women in our society has taken huge strides forward and we’re thankful for that. Thankful that women can vote, be admitted to hospital, run for Prime Minister and lead the way in business. Things really have changed in the last 100 years.

As part of our Women’s month we’d love to encourage you to say “thank you” to the women in your life who inspire you to be your best, the ones who accept you as you are, warts and all. We’d also love to encourage you to be what you’d love your friends, daughters and nieces to be. Let’s put away the all work and no play mentality because we want our girls to confidently grow up knowing that one day they’ll be women too and it’s a wonderful, rewarding place to fill in our communities.

I have three wishes for you this month:

Be kind to yourself

Listen to your self talk. If you catch yourself saying things like, “I’m not good enough”, remind yourself about fair play and practice being as kind to yourself as you are to others. If you struggle being kind to yourself, think about the women who inspire you and remember that what you see in them is already present in you too! There, that feels better already!

Allow others to help

You don’t need to do it all. In fact, others need a chance to feel useful too. Don’t let guilt or feeling “I should be able to do it all” stop you from asking for a hand. Maybe you could ask someone else to cook one night this week or to give you a hand with something else on that never ending ‘to do’ list!

Live a life you’d choose for your daughter

Let’s join hands to build a supportive, inclusive environment at home and at work, where we can help women and girls achieve their ambitions, provide equal recognition for everyone’s contribution and challenge ourselves to BE what we wish for the next generation of women.

We’d love you to contribute to our celebration by sending in a short video or photo sharing something about a woman who inspires you. See below for more details and an opportunity to win!

Warm regards,

Laurie

International Women’s Day  is a celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements across the globe. To show our support, we’re making March our month to honour all women, be it past or present, historical crusader or everyday woman balancing it all.

Let’s hear from you – women, mothers, friends and let’s make March about lifting each other up, together!

Join in!
Send in a 30 second – 1-minute video or photo telling us who you honour (you can nominate yourself) and why to info@barehands.com.au by Monday 7th March and we’ll post it to our Facebook page during the month of March.

You could Win!
Just by sending in a photo or video you could go into the draw to win a free Sticky Strategies online boot camp.  Packed full of tools to restore balance and rebuild confidence, this programme will enable you to take on what life sends your way.

Terms and conditions: By sending in your photo or video you are agreeing to Bare Hands publishing your content on their Facebook page during the month of March 2016.  Bare Hands reserves the right to refrain from using your images or video if they feel it is not in line with the campaign or includes inappropriate material.