International Women’s Day: Pioneering in CT? You must be crazy.
by Rachael Murphy
Director for Scotland
08 March marks International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world. International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. And with this year’s theme being #BalanceforBetter, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the inspiring women working in the community transport sector and the enormous effect their work has on improving access for women and girls to all the opportunities their communities have to offer.
I’m sure many of you will have seen Nike’s most recent advert. Voiced by Serena Williams, the advert highlights moments in sport’s recent history where women have broken down barriers to take part and compete. We see women accused of being over-emotional, over-ambitious, of encroaching into majority-male environments, but Williams turns this criticism on its head, suggesting it is, in fact, the root of their success.
Though Nike could be accused of using some of sport’s most pioneering women to sell trainers, there is an undeniable vein of truth in their campaign: to create and sustain social change, to inspire a younger generation, to counter the status quo, you have to be… crazy.
I think this applies as much in community transport as it does in sport. It’s a difficult time in our sector; there are questions, doubts and cuts to funding that we all face every day. So committing to that mission almost seems illogical. On the face of it, it might not make much sense to choose such a challenging field to work your 40 (oftentimes more) hours a week, or in which to spend your spare time volunteering. Knocking on the doors of power and demanding fairer, more accessible travel can sometimes feel pretty thankless. And yet, you do it.
This International Women’s Day, I want to thank our members, men and women, who improve women’s lives. We’re incredibly proud of the women across the community transport sector who make such difference in roles ranging from volunteer drivers to mechanics and transport managers, ensuring that every day society is made that little bit more balanced. You’re already celebrating this important day every time you help an older woman access her community, provide respite to a woman caring for older parents, every day you take a little girl to school or swimming or debate club. And to those women working in CT in Scotland, thank you for inspiring me every day.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.