Just like her own mother taught her, Jessica Rowe is teaching her two young daughters about the meaning and importance of feminism.
While one of them laughed and told her women should be paid more than men because “women are the best”, Rowe explained being a feminist was not only asking for equal pay but for everyone – men and women – to support the choices of each other.
“My mum is my greatest inspiration ... and now my daughters. Since becoming a mum they inspire me to want to be a better person and to keep standing up for what I believe in and also to find the joy in what we do,” the journalist, presenter and author said.
“Just because I don’t agree with the choices another feminist makes … it might be right for them in their lives, but essentially we need to support one another.”
This will be the premise of her motivational speech at the Illawarra International Women’s Day Celebration at the WIN Entertainment Centre on Friday.
Rowe told the Illawarra Mercury she hoped to inspire acceptance among all, as well as for both genders to strive for work life balance – especially men in leadership roles.
She said with an absence of females in boardrooms, men at the top needed to be more “hands on” in their own family lives so they may empathise with the pressure placed upon women.
“We spend so much of our lives working and doing things that we think we should do, sometimes we lose sight of what matters and what is it that brings us joy as opposed to the sorts of things we think we should do,” she said.
Rowe will also touch on her struggles with gender inequality in the work place, which were exacerbated in 2007 after “upsetting” comments from Eddie Mcguire were made public after her departure from the Nine Network.
The self confessed “crap housewife” is also very open about her battle with post natal depression, labelling herself an “over sharer” But Rowe said it was warranted so other women could see they were not alone.
“We can lift one another up and that’s what it is all about. I think International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on what we have achieved as individuals but [also] what we can help other women achieve,” she said.
“Success comes in all different shapes and sizes … and we should support those different choices, even if it doesn’t fit in with our supposed definition of success.”