TALK’n TROUBLE: Our Enduring Vision

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Trouble is all about celebrating and supporting women and supplying worthy organizations with the capital they need to promote equity for women and girls. We know that gender equity, like all justice – social, environmental, and racial – is going to be achieved incrementally. Sure there are challenges to overcome and, it is troubling that the pace of change has slowed in recent years but, there is continued progress. Our vision remains clear. We hold out hope and see opportunity all around us. Our resolve to cause Trouble is reaffirmed every day.

We should all be encouraged by substantial global gains toward gender equity. Togetherband.org reports several significant improvements. More women and girls are being educated, child marriage is decreasing, and more survivors of sexual violence are being believed and getting the justice that they deserve. 2021 was a record-breaking year for women in the corporate world, and countries are cracking down on the gender pay gap. Focus, determination, and relentlessness keep things moving in the right direction. Despite the hurdles, all over the world women continue to roll up our sleeves and make stuff happen – causing Trouble, confronting injustice, demanding fairness, and making a difference in our communities.

It’s old news and certainly no surprise that women played “an outsized role responding to the pandemic,” including as frontline healthcare workers, caregivers at home, and mobilizers in their communities. “During the pandemic, feminist advocacy was relentless,” according to UN Women. A recent report acknowledged, “women’s organizations often filled the gaps where governments were stretched thin — providing child care services, food banks, and services to respond to gender-based violence.” You know – like we do.

Women, who are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, are taking the lead and have been officially recognized for helping to establish equity standards for preparedness planning going forward.  Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, and Svenja Schulze, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany published an Op-ed with this great title; “Where crises multiply risks, women multiply solutions.” In it they assert what all TroubleMakers know to be true, “All of us must work toward a world where we expect, support, and fund women’s involvement and leadership in decision making, peacebuilding, climate mitigation, and recovery. Our world’s resilience and very future depend on it.”  – Yes it does!

Change at home isn’t happening fast enough for most of us. But, while it might not feel like it, the World Economic Forum reports, “The U.S. has made some progress in terms of gender equity. In 2020, it was ranked No. 53 in the ranking of 154 countries based on gender equality, while this year it ranked No. 30.” Clearly, there is still plenty of room for improvement. With your support, TroubleMakers, we’ll keep pushing.

Even in the increasingly polarized and combative political climate here, Trouble celebrated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court this year! Nytimes.com reported her “confirmation was seen as empowering especially by black women in law as they can now look at the highest court and see a face like theirs.” Many said they felt proud and inspired by her accomplishment….thrilled for Judge Jackson and especially touched by her “resilience and tenacity.” This, particularly given the intense, politically-contentious senate hearings she endured. Unfortunately, we have to recognize that while VP Harris presided as Jackson was confirmed, no Black women had a vote as none are currently members of the Senate. Yet, the vision lives on, and efforts continue. TroubleMakers put one foot in front of the other.

 “We all leap forward when one woman tries | When she defies with her rallying cries.” — From the poem “Vital Voices” by Amanda Gorman

 “We have to be open and optimistic that these little, small, incremental changes that we’re making will eventually mount up to something bigger,” says Rouba Mhaissen, a Syrian-Lebanese activist.

Quotes from *Vital Voices – a compilation of women’s words on leadership, selected in a process that began with 18,000 nominees. Please note: VV’s CEO Alyse Nelson is one of our featured TroubleMaker’s!!     

It is true that in recent years there has finally been a meaningful increase in the representation of women in medical studies and drug trials. There have been purposeful gains in legal protections in the workplace and challenges to damaging laws are continuing, too. But, while some doors are opening others are being slammed shut. A serious, concerted effort is needed to reverse the draconian, anti-women legislation being forced through in some states. 

Meanwhile, the meaningful and enduring work done by our Trouble partners and others continues to add up. All those advocates, supporters, resource providers, leadership developers, and role models push the world a little closer toward gender equity every day. Change is real. TroubleMakers are making it happen! 

Every action counts. Never underestimate the impact of your personal interactions, particularly when it comes to shifting the gender biases that are so deeply rooted in our culture. Eradicating ingrained bias is one of the most challenging aspects of the quest for gender equality. We can pass laws and demand reform, but changing minds and expectations are more subtle. It starts with the kids. And, as if mothers don’t have enough responsibility, they are the ones that are uniquely poised to drive that change.

The ”Making Caring Common Project” offers up five tips for preventing and reducing gender bias:

1. Check your own biases – We all hold them and by definition, we usually don’t realize it.

2. Engage Your Kids in Making Your Home a Bias-Free Zone Talk about fairness and question expectations.

3. Help Kids Kick Stereotypes to the Curb Help them recognize bias and model ways to respond.

4. Don’t Just Let “Boys Be Boys” (We like to call ‘em “Allies”) – Toxic masculinity diminishes boys as well as girls.

5. Build Girls’ Leadership Skills and Self-Confidence Encourage girls to develop all of their strengths and abilities so they can realize their full potential.

To all the Trouble-making Moms out there. You make the world go around!

U.S. Healthy Vision Month is celebrated every year.  Trouble has a vision and we’d like to celebrate it – every month – with you. Please join Trouble in supporting our partners and keep the vision of gender equity front and center. We see a world where women and girls have every opportunity to thrive and live their best lives.

Stay tuned for more insights and inspiration.

Share the cool stuff you learn here with the TroubleMakers you know and love.

SPEAK UP – SPEAK OUT.  THIS REALLY MATTERS.

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