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International Women's Day - One Big Push

Annabel Shorter
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I love this photograph. It’s a few years old but I am transported back to the pride I felt pushing my daughter around on that beautiful day, in her brand-new raspberry pushchair. Like many, there was much deliberation over the choosing of the pushchair. It is a joyous and at the same time, utterly bewildering process. So many things to consider – will I want to run with it, shop with it, pass it to a yet-to exist sibling? So often they might be bought by proud grandparents or passed on by delighted Aunties, Uncles and friends.

I went through all of this.

But not once, in my deliberations, did I consider would I need to put my daughter into it, close my front door behind me and create, in an instant, a life as a refugee.

Not once, did I contemplate whether it would hold enough of my possessions to allow me to leave my home, my career, and my life as I know it, and walk for days to reach safety.

It is International Women’s Day today. The women of Scotwork often write or run events to mark this each year. We talk with passion about glass ceilings, gender pay gaps and helping women to improve their skills in pursuit of their goals. Important – but not this time- this International Women’s Day we can think of no other women to salute and stand by more fiercely than those of Ukraine. Those women who are demonstrating the most immense courage and resilience in the face of their aggressors.

The fact that this is not you or me, or one of the women that we love, is no more than an accident of geography.

As I sat down to finish writing this, by chance I saw an image of a line of pushchairs at a railway station in Poland, left there for women arriving without theirs to take. We all want to do we can. These are only words, but we stand by you all.


Annabel Shorter
More by Annabel Shorter:
Difficult Woman
Once I Was Seven Years Old...
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