Founder of The Girlness Project, Pippa Richardson answers our ‘what it means to be a woman in 2018’ Q&A, to mark 100 years of suffrage; the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed on 6 February 1918.
Pippa Richardson Q&A
It’s been 100 years since (some) women were granted the right to vote in the UK – how far do you think women have come in the last century?
In many ways, remarkably far but it is easy to lose faith when the current cultural and political landscape shows that progress is slow and limited. I think we are living an important chapter in history where women’s voices are being raised, listened to and importantly inspiring action. Notably, Saudi Arabia lifting the driving ban later this year, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, the UK beginning to take the Gender Pay Gap seriously – these are all achievements that stem from the hard work of our forbearers who laid the groundwork, campaigning and dedicating lives for a better existence for women. This is not to say there isn’t a great amount of work that still needs to be done to ensure we are protecting and nurturing the lives of young girls and women but I believe consciousness is rising. The Woman’s March worldwide protest in January this year was a real indication that women’s voices are more powerful than ever.
What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
To empower and be empowered. To lead our next generation by example and change the course of history for future generations. To keep sharing our voice and stories. To be political activists. To make our own choices.
What do women still need to achieve?
I believe we all have a responsibility to ask ourselves, how am I showing up? For myself and for others? What steps am I taking to foster the life that I want for myself and the children of this world? Whether we like it or not we are leaving a legacy behind and we will be remembered by the actions that we take now to create a better tomorrow.
“We rise by lifting others’ is a quote by Robert G. Ingersoll that I live by. I can’t answer for all women in terms of what we still need to achieve, but I do know that whatever it is (individually and collectively), there is great strength in doing it together. Women supporting Women.
Your personal proudest achievement?
Launching the girlness project – an initiative that supports the emotional and physical wellbeing of young girls and women. Every experience I have lived through has gone into making this project become a reality. I have worked with thousands of women and girls, and I am ever-inspired by our ability to heal, to deepen our connection with our bodies and sense of Self. My work inspires me every single day.
Personally, reaching a point where I understand that the hard things that have come my way were all part of this divine plan.
If you could teach young women one thing about being a woman it would be…
That our existence is vital and that our self-worth does not exist outside of ourselves.
And if you could teach young men one thing…
That your strength lies in your vulnerability.
Complete the following:
In the next 100 years, I hope women will…
Take up more seats in parliament, make up 50% of company board members, embrace entrepreneurship and inspire sustainable change that protects our planet in new and creative ways.
Pippa Richardson is also the founder of Pippa Yoga. Since practicing yoga for 8 years, she is now both a yoga teacher and mentor. The decision to start The Girlness Project came to her after her own transition to womanhood which she found challenging. The project is a community where women are encouraged to express how they feel, whether it be through a series of workshops, yoga classes or even a mentoring session.