In our society today, we are extraordinarily lucky to have feminist wonder women to provide a ‘lift’ for other women on their way to the higher ‘floors’ of our society: 

Paola Diana

Paola Diana

Amina Afzali, leader of the Afghan Women’s Movement, has fought against women wearing the burqa for years. Zainab al-Khawaja, a feminist activist from the Arab kingdom of Bahrain, was arrested and imprisoned when she was seven months pregnant for having torn up a picture of King Hamad. Stephanie Hannon, ex-chief technology officer of Hillary for America, who studied at Stanford and Harvard and engineered an artificial knee when she was only sixteen years old. Amanda Renteria, daughter of Mexican peasants, former basketball champion, student at Harvard and analyst at Goldman Sachs. Michelle Kwan, champion skater, Disney icon and diplomat at the Asian State Department. Wendy Clark, head of marketing at Coca-Cola, who was described by Fortune as being one of the most influential women in the world. All these women are phenomenal female role models for young people to aspire towards, showing the amazing possibilities for women in the future.

Yet, despite phenomenal and powerful women gracing our world and showing women the potentialities of their power, the global issue of gender equality is far from dealt with. Much of my work as a gender equality campaigner within my organisation, PariMerito, has involved carrying extensive research into the gender gap all over the globe. One extremely striking correlation was the link between the gender gap in each country and a country’s international competitiveness, and that this competitiveness largely depends on how female talent is encouraged and valued. Thus, in countries where women’s rights are respected, and they can follow independent careers the economy grows. Fundamentally, gender parity is essential for economic gain.

The rationale behind the necessity of gender equality seems like common sense, and yet, as we are so regularly reminded, the the gender pay gap is far from disappearing. However, domestic and professional burden women face when combining family and career, means working hours are almost double men’s, and experience a significant peak during their children’s very early years. In my new book Saving The World, I explore how we can accelerate this change, which is so deeply rooted into society. The Bonus Care Draft Bill presents the idea of introducing a tax allowance for workers, including female employees, female entrepreneurs or self-employed women who would otherwise have to hire domestic helpers. It is a simple and innovative idea which would encourage national growth.

Oscar de la Renta, said, ‘We live in an era of globalisation and the era of the woman. Never in the history of the world have women been more in control of their destiny.’ These words enshrine the hope of a bright future for all women. We struggle to imagine a different world, yet we need only close our eyes to see courthouses where women in their gowns preside as judges; to see women preaching from a pulpit and celebrating Mass; to see women running hospitals and female deans of colleges debating with men as equals; to see women presidents and diplomats leading our countries and taking decisions guided by maternal wisdom; and to see meetings of women bankers intent on rewriting the standards of the international financial system. All of this is possible. It is the future.

Saving the World (Quartet) by Paola Diana out 2nd May £12.50