GRANDPARENTS' ANSWERING MACHINE
"Good morning. We are not home at present, but please leave your message after the Beep".
"If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 - 5 in order of "arrival" so that we know which one of you is calling"
"If you need us to stay with the children, press 2".
"If you want to borrow the car, press 3".
"If you want us to wash your clothes and do your ironing, press 4."
"If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5."
"If you want us to pick up the kids from school, press 6."
"If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday, or have it delivered to your home, press 7."
"If you want to come and eat here, press 8."
"If you need money, press 9."
"If you are going to invite us to dinner, or take us to the theatre, start talking - we are listening!"
Today is International Women's Day, and I thought that was very much worth a mention on my Blog today. Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world, ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events, through to local women's craft markets, theatrical performances, fashion parades and much more.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy.
With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
I would like to thank all those women, from the Suffragettes onwards, who fought so hard to gain women's rights and to make the world a much better place for the women of today, although, unfortunately, there are still parts of the world (Afghanistan and the Middle East for example) where there is still a long way to go for women to be treated with the respect they deserve.