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International Women's Day: A life-long fight for equality

Written by Margot Taylor
on March 06, 2020

Millions of people around the world will mark International Women’s Day on Sunday.

The thousands of women at Ryman Healthcare's retirement villages who have lived amazing, challenging and accomplished lives are no exception.

Our residents have lived through the hardships of war, celebrated the Women’s Liberation Movement and raised families who are tolerant and educated.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’.

As Ryman Healthcare communications advisor Margot Taylor realised when she asked some of our wonderful female residents about women’s rights, these women have been fighting for ‘Generation Equality’ their whole lives.

 

Premila Brito, 71. English and History teacherIMG_0006_adj

How do you think life has changed for women since you were 21?

I think we have a lot more freedom now to express ourselves, to do as we please, to not be afraid to take on top jobs.

I think previously women lived in the shadows of their fathers, brothers, or husbands.

What are the misconceptions about women your age?   

That maybe we cannot take on corporate jobs, and we are not up to it.

I’m still doing a bit of emergency teaching.

I’ve been a history and English teacher for 48 years.

What do you think about the #Metoo movement?

I think it’s great they’ve come forward, and that they’ve made men feel more accountable and made men feel they can’t get away with pushing women around.

 

IMG_0023Jean Horsley, 92. Former typist

How do you think life has changed for women since you were 21?

Women are far more outspoken today.

But I think levels of respect for everything and everyone have decreased as well as trust.

I went hitchhiking when I was 21, the first car that came along, I would get in it.

It’s not like that anymore.

If you could give your 21-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be yourself, believe in yourself, and believe there is nothing in this world you can’t do if you really want to do it.

 

IMG_0244_adj

Maureen Morth, 79. Former businesswoman and proof reader

What are the misconceptions about women your age?

I never think about it.

I’ve never let anything stop me from doing things I wanted to do.

What do you think about the #Metoo movement?

I’m very concerned about abuse in the world, including abuse of children and the elderly because they are helpless, also women experiencing domestic violence.

All abuse should be addressed in a fair and intelligent fashion.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’. What actions have you taken to push for gender equality?

By expecting respect for myself, and also by being respectful to others, no matter their gender.

 

Diana (1)Diana Gatehouse, 79. Former university Chemistry Department administration secretary

How do you think life has changed for women since you were 21?

I think there is more freedom for women, but I’m not sure that I agree with all that freedom.

In some ways life was much easier in my day because the choices weren’t there.

What are the misconceptions about women your age?

Firstly, that we are unable to do things, especially with technology.

People think because you are old you haven’t got the ability.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’. What actions have you taken to push for gender equality?

I am open in my support for gay people.

I admire lesbian women for the fact they stand up for who they are.

It’s about acceptance and tolerance.

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