If you've known me for any length of time or read much of what I write and talk about here and elsewhere, you'll know that I'm vocal in the gender debate in the mobile industry and beyond. I want to see more women in senior level jobs in our sector, more women at board level, more female investors (and to become an investor, you have to have worked your way to the top to earn the money or you've inherited it), and more women join our industry in all types of job from coding and programming to data science to marketing and ops and more (and not just in token sales roles to appeal to the male tech buyers thanks very much).
Aside from the financial gains a company gets from having more balanced teams at every level, you may wonder why I'm so vocal on this issue. Google it. You'll find plenty evidence and solid research to support this if you don't believe me.
It's because of this: The shaming of women around the world for no reason at all except that they're women; The fact that there are still child brides; FGM; And rape culture in all strata of society. The everyday sexism I, and others experience at home and in the workplace is trivial in comparison to these issues but they are part of the same global problem. It's a continuum.
This article, 'Sex, honour, shame and blackmail in an online world', brought it home to me as to how much work there is still to much to do to change entrenched attitudes and make the world a safer and lovelier place to be for all people, of whatever creed, colour or gender.
There is much in the article that is truly horrific. But this particular paragraph really shocked me. It had never occurred to me that this would be a 'thing'. This is happening in Agra. The home of the magnificent and awe-inspiring Taj Mahal - a monument to undying love - seen as the most romantic building on the planet.
"In August 2016, the Times of India found that hundreds - perhaps thousands - of video clips of rape were being sold in shops across the northern state of Uttar Pradesh every day. One shopkeeper in Agra told the newspaper: "Porn is passé. These real-life crimes are the rage." Another, according to the same report, was overheard telling customers that they might even know the girl in the "latest, hottest" video."I doubt this stuff is restricted to Agra or even India either. It's happy slapping gone to the extreme (that's if you're old enough to remember that). That doesn't make it better or worse. And you might say that technology is to blame as it makes distribution easy and cheap. Despicable scenes of war and terrorism have been distributed on phones for more than 10 years. But it goes much deeper than that. It's about changing attitudes whether it's the everyday sexism experienced in a business environment or on a political podium or the dreadful crimes that women across the world are victim to.
I know these things are not easy to fix and change won't happen overnight. Poverty is playing its part in this as much as culture and tradition and wrong-headed ideas about the role of women in society and what we're good for. But change it must.