International Women’s Day – My Top Five Favourites

Today is a special day for women all around the world. But it’s also a special day on a personal level, for two reasons:

Simon and I have extended families as a result of our partnership (twenty years this year!) which has resulted in four granddaughters and one grandson, to date 😊I’m sure there will be more. However, it’s quite unusual in that we have two granddaughters who were both born on this very day, three years apart. I was there for the arrival of Caitlin, thirteen years ago and will never forget that first cuddle minutes after. She has brightened our life ever since (though I can’t believe she is now a teenager!) Ivy was born to Simon’s second eldest son, three years later and she is a very gifted singer, following in her dad’s footsteps with her love of music.

So two young women in the making, treading their path to the future of what we can hope will be a more equal one. And who knows how they may influence that cause? The issue of equality has never been more at the forefront of our society on such an international level.

I’m not an activist in any sense of the word, but I do take actions on a smaller more personal basis. Here are five of the women who have influenced me in more ways than one.

Amelia Earhart: The first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1928. She and the women of the ATS inspired my novel, All Will Be Well.

“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”

Malala Yousafzai: The young girl who has spoken out for education for girls and paid a heavy price.

“I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.”

Florence Nightingale: What nurse hasn’t been influenced by this iconic figure? Her teachings influenced my own development as a nurse and as a young woman.

“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better. “

Emmeline Pankhurst: I’m not going to get into the politics of voting, nor my views on it but with the 100 year anniversary this year of winning the right for women’s vote, suffice to say she has to feature.

“Trust in God, She will provide.”

Anne Frank: Barely a woman when she died at the age of 16, I’m in awe at her bravery, courage and forgiveness.

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

Here in Italy, men give women bunches of Mimosa to celebrate the day and often take over the reigns at home and childcare so they are free to go out and lunch with their girlfriends!

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