On International Women’s Day earlier this year, I started thinking: This is the year of the woman. The year we will elect a woman president. The year my daughter saw me become the family breadwinner. The year that “women’s issues”—equal pay, protection of rights, strong leadership, powerful voices—will come into force.
This is our moment. And to do my part, I developed a plan: In January 2017, when Clinton gives her inaugural address and Obama passes the baton—first black president to first female president—I’ll start offering a discount through my own business for projects that focus on women’s empowerment. Women still get paid 75 cents to the dollar for men; I’ll take 25 percent off my hourly rate for clients who are working to improve opportunities for women and girls.
Then America elected a man who is capable of words and actions that, like Michelle Obama said, shake me to my core. I wept for my little daughter, even as I breathed a sigh of relief that she’s not yet old enough to watch the news.
But then I realized: That is selfish of me. For even if my daughter is “safe” now, millions of other little girls did hear those words, and they did watch voters validate someone whose actions are morally reprehensible.
All of our daughters and sons stand to inherit this world unless we each take action to change it. This is my action: Starting right now, and through 2017, I will reduce the cost of my communications services by 25 percent for any organization that is advancing opportunities for women and girls. And if a client pays me my full rate, I’ll donate 25 percent of that income to a group that stands up for women and girls.
I envision a world for my daughter—and her twin brother—that is inclusive and empowering. This is not the end of her story. As a writer, I intend to change it.
I want to hear from you: What are you doing to empower women and girls? Get in touch.