Circus WOW performers presented a piece of theatre, based around their own mothers’ and grandmothers’ comical and thought-provoking stories.
They shared anecdotes relating to housewives, sex, discrimination, politics and contraception with the aim to “stimulate conversation over the lunch table”.
“The world today is a very different world for women than at the beginning of the last century when the suffragettes fought for the vote for women. Although much progress has been made since then, we are still a long way away from gender parity,” spokeswoman for the group Fiona McKay said.
Ms McKay said she hoped by encouraging people to talk about their own experiences – men and women – the world would be more like to make progress.
FIONA McKAY’s STORY:
I was brought up in a very loving but traditional, Christian family where there was no question my father was the head of the household, as well as the breadwinner. Mum was fantastic running a large household on a small budget and sometimes helping us children negotiate Dad for a change in his opinion, but she was also a great role model for the burnt chop syndrome'.
For example, if something had fallen apart, was a bit overcooked or running out at the dinner table, Dad and the boys would get the best bits or be given larger serves. Mum would take the worst or least for herself, and we girls fell into line. Both girls and boys were expected to help around the house, and in the garden, and education was important for us all, but in small ways the males were promoted. For example, Mum has struggled with the idea of her daughters continuing to work once they had families, and the two boys were appointed as executors of our parent's wills.
In my professional life in education and the arts, I have found there is a big gender imbalance between the top, better paid jobs and the more lowly paid jobs. I have worked with a boss who used his supposed sexual relationship with one of the women applying for a job under him to add weight to the decision. He achieved the preferred appointment, but not his hoped for conquest – although there were other female members of staff who were not so strong in their rebuffs