THE BLOG

Dropping the 'F' Bomb

12/03/2014 13:13 GMT | Updated 11/05/2014 10:59 BST

According to the Cambridge dictionary, feminism is 'the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way.' So, what I can't understand is why women are so reluctant to call themselves a feminist. There is no pre-requisite of having to burn your bra. It doesn't need to be so complicated. As a young woman, it simply spells out a desire for equality between the sexes ... and I am an unashamed feminist.

In the UK, this equality means

* equal pay at top business boardrooms

* greater coverage of women's sport and

* more affordable childcare

In my mind, these issues require changes in the quest for greater equality. For my neighbour, friend, colleague, their priorities may well differ.

For a female in other countries in the world, there is a long, long way still to go and if there is one thing that International Women's Day highlighted to me at the weekend, is how very lucky I am to have been born British.

In Sudan, women can be lashed for wearing trousers and in Saudi Arabia only men are permitted to drive. Honour killings, domestic abuse and acid attacks are rife in some parts of the world, where females have no voice and no rights. Shockingly, in South Africa a woman is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read.

On learning these stats, I felt instantly angry, but utterly helpless.

Sure, I now know that about 57% of girls in Afghanistan marry before the age of 15 or that 46 is the life expectancy for a woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Reading these reports, facts and figures have helped inform me and International Women's Day serves as an awareness raising exercise. But, as the days roll on and the 2014 event passes, what else can we do?

Turns out, with some more clicking of the World Wide Web, we can actually do our bit.

Chime for Change was co-founded last year by Beyonce, Salma Hayek and Gucci's Frida Giannini and has already raised over £3million and helped over 280 projects in 81 countries. You can pledge your money or your support to these projects.

What's clear is that we need to look at feminism on a global scale.

So if, like me, you feel that equality between the sexes has come a long way in our country but are pretty horrified by the inequalities that still exist around the world, you can make a difference. Take a look at www.chimeforchange.org and other action websites out there, sign petitions, blog and tweet about feminist issues ... or quite simply, don't be afraid to identify with the term 'feminist' in its uncomplicated sense.

Your tiny voice can add to lots of other tiny voices and raise some shouts.