What is it all about?
All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, whilst calling for even greater equality. Better the Balance, Better the World #BalanceForBetter, is the 2019 theme for iInternational Women's Day, encouraging effective action for gender equality and more even gender represenatation in all aspects of life, noting its absence and celebrating its prescence. Balanced representation is not a women's issue but one of life, where gender balance in the boardroom, government, media, wealth, sport, art and culture enables everyone to find the role most suited to their skillset and ensure that the best people find success, irrespective of gender. People should not be forced to conform to traditional gender stereotypes, instead being free to explore all opportunities and realise their personal strengths.
Gender balance is essential for communities to thrive and the responsibility to achieve it is a collective one.
Each year, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8th March, the first being held in 1911. Since then, thousands of events have taken place to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. However, there is still much to be done, and it is a good opportunity to focus on issues specifically (though not exclusively) affecting women in the local area.
A number of studies indicate that 10-15% of all new mothers will experience post-natal depression to a lesser or greater extent. It is important to identify the signs and seek help for the condition sooner rather than later, in order to minimise risk to you and others and get on with enjoying your new baby. Symptoms can be psychological, physical and social and can be treated with a combination of medication and counselling.
Eating disorders are complex. There is no single cause and symptoms may vary dramatically, which makes diagnosis and treatment difficult. The important factor is to identify your anxieties and to seek help. There are many specialists, but if in the first instance you just want to talk to someone about how you are feeling and where to go next, specialist charities, such as Beat and National Centre for Eating Disorders are a good start. If you are trying to support someone with an eating disorder, counselling could also be helpful to you too.
Domestic violence is a pattern of controlling behaviour, which can be physical, emotional, sexual or financial and can affect the health and wellbeing of the entire family. There are a number specialist organisations supporting sufferers, such as Women's Aid, and Refuge, who can advise on the best way to make victims safe. Everyone has the right to personal safety, and if it has happened once, it is likely to happen again and escalate. Each year in England and Wales alone, 1.4 million women report domestic violence and 7 women are killed each month by a current or former partner (www.safelives.org.uk). Victims need to seek help. Once survivors have found safety and are ready to process their feelings around their experiences, counselling can help.
Social and cultural inequality
Despite a number of initiatives over recent years, there are still some sections of society in which women are not treated equally. Some jobs, activities and behaviours are considered to be 'not for women' because of stereotypes with cultural roots not any scientific basis for exclusion. Frustration caused by such limitations can be overcome by education and effective communication, together with boosting self-esteem and confidence. Counselling can also help women to discover their goals and find the drive to achieve them, overcoming any gender hurdles they may encounter.
Discrimination at work
Despite legislation in modern Britain to prevent discrimination in the workplace, women are still seriously under-represented in the top jobs, both in terms of number and pay. Many women still feel that they are overlooked for promotion or recruitment, simply because of their gender, or suffer verbal or physical attack on a regular basis. Counselling can provide a forum in which to explore the feelings this can generate and enable women to forumlate a strategy to cope and ultimately, thrive.
Coping with modern life
At a time when gender roles are changing, and economic pressures meant that increasingly large numbers of women are bearing the burden of running the home as well as providing for their family finanicially, many women find that they are struggling to cope with the pressures of modern life. Having someone to talk to and discuss emotional and practical needs can be a vital source of support for some. Counselling can help people to find a way forward and prioritise solutions for a less stressful day to day homelife.
CCC can help
For any further information about how we can support you with any of these issues, simply contact the reception nearest to you.
Huntingdon and Cambridge - 01223 233047 Peterborough - 01733 553166