If you’ve ever felt like you’re navigating a world that’s not designed for you, you’re not alone. Many women have long suspected that we live in a society designed for and around men. But now we have the proof.
Invisible Women highlights the huge and often invisible inequalities in society that Caroline Criado Perez describes as ‘male default’. From smartphone design to crash test dummies, women are inconvenienced, harmed, or even killed because sex differences are ignored in research and design. You may have read the extract from Invisible Women
that recently went viral. In it, we learn that "women in Britain are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed following a heart attack: heart failure trials generally use male participants. Cars are designed around the body of “Reference Man”, so although men are more likely to crash, women involved in collisions are nearly 50% more likely to be seriously hurt".
I first became aware of Caroline's work during her campaign to get a woman on UK banknotes. I was overawed at her ability to simply get things done.
I helped out during Caroline's campaign to get the first statue of a woman into London's Parliament Square, and saw first hand how important it is to get people in power to understand sexism and female representation. As a writer and producer in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Maths) and medicine, I've attended All-Party Parliamentary Group meetings for women's health and women in STEM, where politicians and industry leaders work together to improve society for women. In order for change to happen, our elected leaders must be educated about the gender gap.
That's why I'm crowdfunding to send a copy of Invisible Women to every Member of Parliament, starting with those who sit on relevant committees and oversee the laws and regulations that affect women. Sure, MPs could buy their own copy of the book, but most won't, and the exposure and pressure this campaign will bring helps to ensure they read it. If women make enough noise, they can't ignore us.
The books are generously supplied by Waterstones at half price. The money from this crowdfunder will go directly to my personal bank account, from which I will pay the supplier. The books will be distributed to MPs directly, via Westminster. I will also be purchasing some low-cost protective packaging, and printing a covering letter. There are 650 Members of Parliament, I would love to get a copy to all of them. If I exceed the target, I can start sending copies to other decision-makers, for example industry leaders.
For too long, women have been treated as second-class citizens. Let's educate those in power who represent us.