female empowerment

We take a look at five women, past and present, who have stood up and fought for their cause.
Ah, periods. For around 50% of the population they arrive in a spectacular and slightly alarming fashion in your early teens and then continue like clockwork (my own clock being slightly faulty and terrible at timekeeping) until the sweet release of menopause.
I had it all planned. 32 weeks into my pregnancy we'd move from London to Brighton. I'd pop back into my favourite jumpsuit straight after delivery and set up a profitable styling business during maternity leave. Obviously home and work would be perfectly balanced.
I'm a serial entrepreneur and the founder of a global digital education content company, specializing in cross-cultural issues. I also happen to be a minority female from a traditional culture. I mention that fact last because it's the least relevant reason as to how and why I became an entrepreneur and how I run my business.
When we talk of men in dismissive, insulting tones, we lose our own battle to achieve equality. When men attempt to join in a conversation, they mustn't be silenced on account of the behaviour of men several generations before them.
This was the early 90's and I was a different person then; younger, more naive perhaps and certainly less well-travelled through life, but I knew then what I still believe to be true now. Just because I'm a women doesn't mean I should take on the support role everywhere I go.
Mary with some of the young women leaders who joined me in Johannesburg this month. Image Credit: A. Murimirwa "I have seen
I'd like to think it's because I'm too brazen to agonise over my appearance. I'm against airbrushing models in magazines, and what else is make-up than real-life photoshopping? But then, I highlight my hair and just spent £40 on an under-eye serum.
Luckily they've made it the 1,100km from Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok where I caught up with them. And here's why I think they're two of the best female role models this planet has to offer.
I love this time in my life. Yes, we all berate the muffin top, saggy boobs and not being able to find much in Topshop these days, but, I love my life.