Doreen O’ Mahony is a PR Consultant based in Cork but originally from West Cork. Having three sisters and having gone to boarding school in Rosscarbery, West Cork, she is well placed to understand the role of women in society. Doreen is delighted to be a guest blogger on the Because I am a Girl campaign and is inspired consistently by the stories of women who have survived, what seem to be insurmountable, challenges by women all over the world.
Because I am a Girl I ask … that people consider what the lives of girls in developing nations must be like and to take a look at the plan report on www.plan.ie.
Because I am a Girl I believe … that women can change the world, that they have changed the world and that they will continue to do so.
Because I am a Girl I hope … to see a world that is a more equal place, not only in terms of gender imbalance but a world where social class is less apparent and access to education is more equal. I hope to see a world where life chances are equal, where people are not judged by their address or their accents but on their own talents and what they can bring to society at large. I hope to see a world where your place in life will not be determined by an accident of birth, whether that is an accident of gender or an accident of where in the world you were born.
Because I am a Girl I wonder … whether the above answer will ever happen.
Because I am a Girl I dream … of a world where girls do not have to leave school at 12 or younger to fend for their families. I dream of a world where girls are not forced into a sexual slavery beyond their worst nightmares and their control.
Because I am a Girl I remember … stories that my grandmother told me of what it was like for her growing up in a world where women did not have the same chances then that I have now. My grandmother left school at 13 but was one of the most progressive individuals I have ever come across. She was a lady ahead of her time, a trailblazer. I believe we have come a long way in Ireland in the past fifty years but that there is a long way to go. I look forward to seeing changes.
Because I am a Girl I like … “all kinds of everything”.
Because I am a Girl I dislike … people making assumptions based on the fact that I am a woman! I dislike the fact that Ireland is still an unequal society in terms of the representation of women in politics and other sectors of society. I do believe that there is a “boys club” that still exists in certain areas of society. I also believe that women work extremely hard and have to prove themselves more than men, simply because they are women. I believe that women become more involved in their careers yet face the conundrum of family life or careers. The unfair division of labour in the home in terms of domestic chores is still an issue faced by women in Irish society, if this is the case in September 2010 then one can imagine how far we need to go to in terms of helping girls in developing nations. It is something we simply cannot ignore. I also dislike manipulation or bitchiness, traits all too common in some women. Sometimes women can be each other’s worst enemy and considering the inequality in our society, that needs to be nipped in the bud so that we can get on with the business of taking over the world!!!!
Because I am a Girl I feel … an obligation to help those who are less well off in developing nations and in our own country. I suppose that comes from the strong empathetic nature women are born with.
– Doreen O’Mahony