Raina Sheaf, CEO, The Zone

My name is Raina Sheaf and I am taking part in the JLC campaign to support International Women’s Day. 

I am the CEO of The Zone Centre for Youth in Leeds.

In some ways, I expect the Suffragettes would have mixed feelings about the world for women today. 

My guess is that they would feel:

‘Pride' for what has been achieved and for the fact that women have not given up the “press for progress”.

‘Upset, maybe Anger' that some women are still fighting for equality.

‘Sadness' for all the millions of women who still don’t have a voice. 

Pressing for progress happens every minute, every day and every hour. 

Women and Men are constantly working, campaigning and advocating for progress and change. 

The current #metoo campaign, women uniting in black dresses or carrying white roses, are symbols of progress. 

We must however, recognise and celebrate the differences between women and men, and we must push for the rights and for the progress for women and indeed men and children, who are silenced, who are living, working and barely surviving in unspeakable circumstances. 

We should never become complacent, or lose fact that progress, be that in education, economic progress, human rights progress, freedom of choice and speech, opportunities for progress in careers and in all other areas of life, should be pushed for, by ALL people, for ALL people everywhere.