International Women's Day: #pledgeforparity

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. There is much to celebrate, but progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places.

International Women's Day takes place
on Tuesday 8th March 2016.
The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already steady pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133.

This Tuesday, the organisers of International Women's Day are asking supporters to #pledgeforparity to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly; whether that be to help girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, end workplace bias or develop a more inclusive culture. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

As a women who watches and plays football I have experienced sexism for years. From not being able to play football in the playground at primary school to being the odd one out in a group of girls, I believe that it is important to address the gender imbalance in football and achieve gender parity.

Admittedly over the years it has got better, and I haven't experienced prejudice in a way that has made me want to stop. By high school, despite often getting sarcastic comments about the team I support, I often played football with the boys and people finally accepted me. Also, I have written for several blogs including my own where I talk about football, and yes occasionally people don't agree with what I say, but people read it and no one is put off by the fact that a girl has wrote it.

In the run up to International Women's Day I want to highlight the organisation 'Women In Football.' They are a network of professional women working in and around the football industry who support and champion their peers. They recognise that there has been significant progress in women’s participation in football and great strides have been made, however there is still more to do.

Women In Football's board members include journalist and presenter Jacqui Oatley and The Guardian's Anna Kessel.

'Women In Football' celebrate women's achievement, challenge discrimination and share professional expertise.

At just 18, I am only starting out in an industry that is dominated by males. If I can even begin to start to spread the word, then by the time I have finished my degree at 21 the gender imbalance could be reduced significantly.

However, we need the help of both women and men.

I ask you to pledge now using the options on the right hand side to start to close the gender gap.

To read more:
Women In Football - http://www.womeninfootball.co.uk/
International Women's Day - http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Molly Jennens

I'm Molly Jennens and I am an aspiring football journalist. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it.

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