Kia Ora Koutou

I have just returned from a USA holiday. We travelled across many states – we saw a lot and spoke with lots of people, both friends and strangers. Reflecting on this proves to me that we all have the same goals in life: to be happy, healthy and treated fairly in everything we do.

Much of what we saw and heard endorsed for me that we have to keep on fighting the good fight or we slip back.

In New Orleans, on the paddle steamer on the Mississippi River we sat with a retired policeman and his wife who worked in the health system. In our conversation BPW came up and they had heard great things about our organisation and impressed with the commitment shown. Our tour through the Whitney Plantation focused on the African Slave story. Our guide was an amazing younger African American who brought to life the journey and stories of these people and the treatment they endured: isolation from family, their religion, their birth name and no education. They were not treated as human being but as possessions. Females were mated to breed strong children – this was likened to breeding horses or cattle for better outcomes choosing strong genes!

IMAGINE yourself being isolated from all you know and being treated as a possession or as a breeding machine! The strategy to not educate was to ensure there was no broadening of minds which would create hope and goals to better their lives. Self-worth was destroyed as best that it could be.

Travel certainly broadens the mind and not everyone has that opportunity, but in New Zealand we all have access to education. Not so in many other countries. Education is the key that opens doors for people to improve their lives and create self-worth.

Our objectives are still extremely relevant:

  • Improve the quality of life for all women
  • Advocate for equal social and economic opportunities for women
  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination against women

In Colorado an old friend of my husband gave me a book which basically states that if women were in charge, there would be no wars.

In Denver I found the Tattered Covered Bookstore “Books are humanity in print” and a little book called ‘We should all be Feminists’ in which it says “I would like to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A

Path of Perseverance

world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently…”

And then in Seattle, on a café wall,while I sipped the elusive Flat White (hard to find in USA) a painting called:
“Path of Perseverance”

Let’s keep persevering … Janet Gibb

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