I went to a tea and cake party held by the local Girl Guides to fundraise for their activities and for two of them to go to India.
The cakes were very tasty, and all the girls did a wonderful job of greeting their guests, making them cups of tea and serving cakes. But I couldn’t help wonder what this says about how those girls are brought up to think of the role of women. The girls were all aged between 11 and 16, old enough to think for themselves if empowered to do so, and yet most waited for instructions from the group leader. They were all in subservient roles, there as waitresses, servers, tea makers. It concerned me.
If I was working with that group the tea and cake evening would have been a chance to learn how to be entrepreneurial, how to run a business, set goals, understand cost, revenue and profit, how to market to the right customers, how to upsell them future support for the group, how to work in small self-organising teams, how to prioritise workload, etc., etc.
If girls aren’t learning these skills and more importantly how it feels to be empowered to be responsible and in control, and all of this is the result of how other adult women see those girls then it’s no wonder that they struggle when they grow up and go out into patriarchal and male dominated workplaces and systems of society. Equality has to happen on all levels, at all ages, and in every single opportunity.