"Women should be careful, quiet and obey" I hear.
"Women should be careful not to walk alone in the streets at night, they should stay quiet when they receive abuse and they should obey the law no matter what" I hear.
When Sarah Everard walked home that evening from her friend's apartment, many think she should have been more careful and walked with someone.
When Meghan Markle spoke up about experiencing racism and being told to follow the rules blindly, many think she should have remained quiet and follow “what she was told is right”.
When Breonna Taylor stood beside her boyfriend in her own hallway after the police forced their way into her apartment, many think she should have obeyed the rules and not stand beside her boyfriend.
Many believe that women should be more careful, should be more quiet, and should obey the rules more.
Many believe it is women who are part of the problem because they are too careless, they are too loud, and they disobey too much.
But here is the reality.
Sarah Everard was murdered for simply walking home from her friend’s house.
Meghan Markle is being heavily criticised for simply speaking her truth.
Breonna Taylor was murdered for standing up next to her boyfriend in her own apartment.
Violence against women, physical and verbal is very much alive.
Silencing women who speak-up, especially women of colour, is also very much alive.
Silencing the women who marched for Sarah Everard’s memory in Clapham Common, is also very much alive.
Yet I hear all the time that “Women and men have equal opportunities”.
Yet, 74% of men think that men and women have equal opportunities at work. While only 49 percent of women feel the same.
Yet I hear many men saying: “I don’t see gender or colour, I only hire the best candidate for the role”.
In an article titled “Women live in a profoundly different, more dangerous world”, Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, condemns the widespread discrimination that justifies and perpetuates the abuse of girls and women across the world:
"The abuse of women and girls is the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on earth."
So I wrote an article titled “4 powerful ways men can become inclusion champions today”.
My hope today is that I will no longer hear that dreaded sentence: “men and women have equal opportunities in the workplace”.