Today is International Women’s Day and the theme this year is Choose To Challenge, where we hold our hand up to call out inequality where we see it. A member of the Sisterhood group (for black and brown women and non-binary people) has shared an inspiring memory of her mother choosing to challenge.
The first memory I have of calling out inequality took place in a popular high street clothing store in Wigan, Lancashire around 1987. I was about ten, buying clothes with my Mum. We did the usual “I want that” followed by my mum’s, “It’s nice to want isn’t it?”. When we went to pay my mum noticed the sales assistant looking at a list as she took payment from her card. She asked the sales assistant what the list was and why she hadn’t looked at the list when serving the previous white customer. The sales assistant went bright red and admitted that the list was a list of stolen cards. My mum told her to do her job properly and check everyone equally; that little old white lady could well have had all sorts in her giant handbag.
I remember feeling immense pride in my mum and pride in part of myself for having the same heritage that makes us strong, strong enough to stand up for herself and hopefully teaching that sales assistant to consider her negative ways of thinking and make a change. That’s what led me to be a strong enough person to stand up for myself and my communities.