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Friday, 31 December 2010

My Global Family

There are many things to be grateful for, although, in the midst of turmoil, sadness, upset or even pain - it can be difficult to work out what those things are. 2010 was the year that shed light on many of those things - for me.

For example, 2010 shed greater light on the fact that as a woman, in the UK, despite the inequality and discrimination I''m faced with every day, despite the fact that we're still paid less than our male counterparts, and despite the fact that BME women are subject to even further discrimination... are increasingly the head of the household, the main source of income, and are often overlooked for promotions at work.

Despite that fact that women are still the main carers of children, and whilst statutory maternity leave is a wonderful 52 wks, statutory maternity pay will cover you for only 39wks of that leave.! despite all that...

I retain my personal power..

In the face of great obstacles, I still believe that I have the power to make changes. Call me a dreamer, call it youthful naivety if you will, but for me... and right now...It works

Relatively protected by the law, I have voice, I can vote, I have rights, I have access to health care, I can choose my husband, marry when I want, I can wear what I like, I've not have to undergo any 'passage into woman hood' that could not only put my health at risk but destroy my 'human rights' to any marital physical pleasure ( not cool)

In developing countries such as the Congo, India, Zambia, Somalia and many more, the harsh reality is that life for a woman, especially in war ravaged territories, is cruel. It's unflinchingly tough!!... and will remain tough for the foreseeable future, despite the excellent work of some of the finest NGOs in the world.

I'm a fortunate woman indeed.

Here in the UK. I'm able to preside over ( solely - or in partnership with others) development projects of local communities... help those who are not so fortunate, and I do so in the knowledge that with enough support change can occur.

Someone once told me that every woman should support at least 1 charity whose mission is to support woman across the globe who are faced with issues ranging from domestic violence to FGM.

Men suffer to, I know - and again there are fabulous charities out there doing their best to support them. We are all family. I like to call it the 'Global Family'
We are all connected in some way or another. We all feel joy... sadness, want the best for ourselves and our families...and my hope is that during the months ahead - we are blessed enough to see the best of mankind, arise and awaken

Hey I've resolved my differences with 2010!!

2011 I love you..
Happy New Year - peace

Feel free to check out: - http:\\www.halftheskymovement.org\get-involved

Thursday, 30 December 2010

So men love shopping after all??

So today I decided to hop on the bus to that golden honey pot' aka Oxford Street! to sample that elixir of life - Shopping!. Not any old shopping like food and all that - oh no.. that doesn't count. It was the kind of shopping one undertakes to feel 'hotter' you know what I mean?? let me explain...shoes... clothes, and sparkly things...yum. Now to be clear... I hate shopping, I really do, can go for months without it, but hey presto... do it once, and just like a bloke, you kinda wanna do it again!!. til you get sick of it and decide it's more trouble than it's worth!!

I joke of course...

You see, the thing is, I went purely as an observer, and observe I did. I witnessed what can best be described as some kind of role reversal. the shops were busy, and everything in the sale was.. pretty much everything that should be on sale..or better yet - in a box at the front marked please take away, in fact we'll pay you!! ...again... I kid.

What I will say is that although women have a reputation of taking shopping to another level...going from shop to shop, only to end up back at the very first store they went into - to purchase that outfit they dismissed hours earlier ( all perfectly reasonable! ) after shopping with my son and witnessing other men in action, I'm hereby going to pass the baton over to them!!. Sure it's great to see a man that looks smart and takes care of his appearance, we love that...but... are they becoming us? Have we turned our men into women??

Whilst I was quick to get what I need and fast forward to the exit, my son needed to primp and preen, check out the mirrors, touch, pick up, put down, take the escalator up, escalator down, pop next door , jeesh... you'd think he was the one with the money!
Yet, he wasn't the only one...in fact, the majority of the men I saw seemed to carry out the same ritual. Well, things have changed that's for sure, and there's a part of me that likes it.. men who no longer run away whenever their other half has that look of 'shopping' in her eye... hey I could get used to that ... but then, there's a part of me that doesn't yet want to see the demise of that testosterone filled, macho man, who you can hold on to when things get tough!! and when I hold on, I don't want my hand to slip on too much oil and satin.. perish the thought!!..hhmm whilst I'm not looking for a cave man anytime soon, he still needs to resemble what I remember to be.. a man..
Looking bored and grumpy as I try on yet another outfit, but who's love is too great to complain... I like!

Things have changed alright, but are we better off for it?

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Hello World and Welcome!

This is a new Blog.

I'm a Community Activist, budding Social Commentator have worked in the field of Community Development for over 20yrs. Why? because it's who I am, I enjoy it, because I believe in justice.. fairness, and equality. I abhore discrimination, and I'll use this blog to discuss issues that affect the many not just the few.. because... to me... and to many others... it matters..

Sometimes serious, other times funny.. welcome and enjoy..

For starters...

We're at the end of another year, just 3 days to go and it's 2011. Despite the mass redundancies experienced up and down the country... increase in personal debt, and discord over public sector cuts, watching the news, both yesterday and today... I couldn't help but notice that the shops were full. Oxford Street was bursting at the seams with shoppers, all seemingly overcome with the unexpected change in personal fortune, that despite the sub zero tempertaures, they were beaming as though they'd just felt of ray of hot Carribean sun, and tasted the sweet nectar of coconut water and rum!.

If it wasn't for the fact that the overground was 'not in service' ... again... I would have hopped down to the shops myself .. grabbed myself a bargain or two and said "stuff it... VAT'll be going up to 20% come January" No longer will we need to worry about obesity, as the cost of food will skyrocket so I guess we'll all have to eat less. Public transport - despite the fact it often smells, is often dirty - and is often late - will cost more to use, so that'll take care of the need to exercise... get your walking shoes on, or get back in your cars and travel in style.

My tips for the New Year:-

Find a partner, or love the one your with... if it's not love, be honest... but be kind
Strenthen your communities .. who lives next door again???
Cherish and rebuild your families.. you may be seperated.. but the kids love you both!! endure those tortuous minutes in each others company.. Best of British an all that!!
Or as we say in the Carribean " jus' grin an bear iit!!
Earn and Learn a little more everyday.. delve into those books - join the library while you still can!
Take advice from the SAS and be prepared...
or my personal favourite.. 'Carpe diem'.. seize the day!!

More tips to come in future blogs....