The International Women’s Day

It’s the International Women’s Day, and I thought I’d pop on here and write a quick message. I am eternally grateful for all the men and women throughout history who has fought for women’s fundamental human rights, and I am fortunate to have strong, independent women in my life. I am particularly grateful to have been raised by one of the strongest, kindest, wisest and determined women I know. I never heard my mother call herself a feminist (she didn’t much like labels), but to my mind, she really was. She was a teacher and a farmer – the very definition of a hard worker, and she was all about getting the job done. She wouldn’t have cared whether my brother had washed the clothes and my father had made dinner while I drove the tractor and she milked the cows – as long as all the jobs got done. My mother was a strong advocate of education, curiosity, conversation and kindness, and she was a lot better at showing kindness towards those to whom she had nothing in common or even shared values with, than I am. Nobody is perfect (I mean, why would anyone want to be), and neither was my mother, but in many ways she set the tone for inclusiveness and generosity, and I strive to get there myself.

Throughout history, we have had difficult times, and I have just read a novel set in the time of the first world war that reminded me of the fact. However, seeing as most people alive in Norway today, have not experienced war or armed conflicts first hand, it is no wonder that we think of these days as some of the hardest in our own history. The unnecessary, unwarranted war in Ukraine – on top of this pandemic that just refuses to die out, is a heavy burden to bear. And while the men and boys of Ukraine have to fight and engage in acts that will follow them throughout life, I have to say that the women are doing a lot of heavy lifting here, too. I cannot imagine what they feel when they are fleeing their homes with children and babies in their arms, trying to get into an overfilled train and hitching rides to neighboring countries without knowing when, or even if, they can ever come back. It is heartbreaking. I know there isn’t much I can do, but I have made a small donation to the Red Cross, and I hope that you will make a donation to a charity you like, too.

A colleague of mine set up an exhibition in the library with books on women activists, the history of the fight for equality, women in occupations dominated by men etc. I found a book there that I have been wanting to read, and I finally checked it out. I have only been browsing so far, but my goodness, it is so good. I´ll include the reference here:

Criado-Perez, C. (2019). Invisible women : exposing data bias in a world designed for men. Chatto & Windus. 

In 2020, I took a course on how we communicate research in the media, and I wrote about medical journalism. As part of that essay, I came across this video from John Oliver (whom I greatly admire for his profound and funny way of communicating issues that few others deal with), and in honour of the day, I’ll be watching it again:

Bias in Medicine

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