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International Women's Day 2016: Pledge for Parity.



1 'The state or condition of being equal, especially as regards status or pay'

Since it is International Women's Day on 8th March 2016 Sport Wales have asked me to make a pledge to my daughter to bridge the gender divide. I recently read that the gap between male and female earnings is getting wider and the gender divide seems to be an increasingly worrying issue in the world around us.

Over at Healthy Children they suggest that by age four most children will have a firm idea of their own gender. I have been witness to this when my children were in school, but it was hard to help other adults see it existed at such a young age.

At this age and for the rest of their lives children will be fed incorrect information such as, 'That's a girl's toy.' or 'You look like a boy because you're wearing trousers.' My children have both had a hard time with their choice of toys, clothes and behaviour, for example, George has been laughed at for wearing a cardigan and Molly has been told her trousers are for boys. Both have been expected to behave a certain way because of their 'sex'.

I am extremely passionate about breaking the gender stereotypes, I think it's important not to allow peer pressure or society push someone to be, act or think a certain way. I want my children to grow up in a world of acceptance, a world of beautiful differences and a world full of love.

When it comes to my daughter, I want her to be respected and treated equally, not demoralised because she is female. For Molly, sport and the outdoors have always been important. She is full of beans and loves getting involved and she has really shone since she started going to Gym Fusion at the beginning of the year. She is more confident and brave as a result of the classes and she is keeping super fit at the same time.

On top of this, we have started daily yoga sessions in the build up to her gymnastics session. They last about half an hour and they really do tests our balance, skill, flexibility and core as well as give us mindfulness ready to start the day.

She is also keen to join a football club in the future and 'Football is for boys.' comments won't stop us! Since gymnastics began we have talked about all sorts of futures for Molly, such as the Olympics and the Circus.

These hopes and dreams can't be scuppered because she's a girl, can they? I'm not so sure right now. But I want my children to believe they can do anything they set their minds on, because they can!

So, in support of parity, 'I pledge to support my daughter and her love and commitment to sport (in particular gymnastics, yoga and football!) and I will stand by her side against the gender divide for as long as it takes!'

I truly believe that, as 'humans', we can fix this, we can show the future generation that there is no divide, that we are simply one.

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