Equality is not a women’s issue. While it is fantastic to celebrate the amazing women in our lives, equality is not an issue to be focused on for just one day of the year. Equality is a cultural issue, a business issue, an issue for policy and government. It is an issue for all of us, every single day.

There are many areas where inequality plays out in our lives, the lives of our families, the lives of our children, our lives at work and our lives in sport. It is in the way we speak, the way we listen and hear, it is in our behaviour, the decisions we make for ourselves and the decisions we make for others. It is in the unconscious bias that we all have and even those of us who are determined to change the world, we still find ourselves having to recheck our thoughts.

It is in our homes, our workplaces and even in our children’s sport. It is seen in the headlines, with devastating consequences when women are seen as less than equal, but as someone’s property.

It is insidious as it continues to be passed down through the generations, in the words coming out of the mouths of our children. Words are weapons, we pass them down and they mould and shape the thoughts and behaviours of those that follow our lead.

Words and actions that make others feel less than, words that are ‘just a joke’. After all aren’t we getting too serious these days? It is exhausting……

Financially we see the impact of inequality, financial independence seems beyond the grasp of many women. Historically when women married and particularly after having children, they left the workforce. We have made great strides in getting policies and legislation to support the idea of equality and yet the vast majority of us are still financially dependent on our partners, sometimes without realising until it is too late.

One change in circumstance, a long sickness, job redundancy or the break down of our relationship and we enter into a financial free fall. The older we are, the harder it will be to recover and many don’t. We need collective action and shared responsibility. Equality is everyone’s issue, until we are truly equal, women will continue to wear more financial risk, with a higher likelihood of living and retiring into poverty. Our culture continues to reinforce a woman’s role in the home and for many in the workplace. Women are still constantly judged, based on outdated expectations of a time long passed. We even do this to ourselves, having it all, simply means doing it all and is certainly not equal!

Learning the financial facts for women and growing our collective financial literacy is imperative if we are to create sustainable change, that creates a world where we are all financially independent, no matter what. It allows women to live a life they choose.

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