What Feminism Means to Me

Today on International Women’s Day it seems like an opportune time for me to consider what feminism means to me. Being a woman, the answer should be clear to me, yet I came around to the idea of feminism in a very meandering way.

For as long as I can remember I have always preferred male company.  Most of my friends were and are men, and I have always shied away from what I call the female competitiveness and drama.  Even at work when I was invited to join a women’s network, I found myself recoiling at the thought of spending afternoons in the company of women.

So, what changed my mind?  Well, the thing that truly changed my mind was when I took over a project to look at gender equality.  As an accountant, I am somewhat analytical.  As I looked at the data regarding past and present cases of sex discrimination, heard about the stories of abuse that women suffered at the hands of their partners and strangers and examined the promotion and pay figures for women in organisations across the UK I finally recognised why a feminist movement was needed.

This was literally a matter of survival.  Society is failing women and girls, and in this failure, we are putting our very own existence at risk because like it or not women are the bedrock of culture and community.

My fate as a feminist was then sealed when I gave birth to a daughter, my maternal instinct kicked in not just for her but for every little girl who had hopes and dreams and aspirations that I wanted to flourish and grow freely rather than be encumbered by social norms and expectations.  It was time for a change.

I am now a proud gender equality expert and amplifier of women’s voices.  I use my voice to tell stories about the experiences of women, and I use my skills to lead Women of Kaieteur a global empowerment network that I founded in 2016.  Through my work both professional and charitable I have learned so much from inspiring women and amazing men who support our aims to create an equal and just society for men and women.

As part of my quest to help women I will soon be launching a dedicated maternity coaching programme to support mother’s on maternity leave and beyond to continue chasing their dreams, realising their potential and achieving work/life balance.

If you are interested in hearing more about what I do in this space or just want to connect, please do email me on connect@roiannenedd.com

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