It’s a woman’s world, at least for today, and that’s reason for hope

A portrait of Dr Barbara Maive Stokes, by artist Catherine Creaney, being hung at RCSI. Picture:

Today is International Women’s Day. It is a day to be happy and rejoice. We can decide to be either depressed or encouraged at the general state of gender equality, so let’s choose the latter.

It’s very easy to do the opposite, when there is such an overwhelming amount of negative material to sustain it, but every cause needs to reflect on the wins and the positives, or else it all seems for naught. And, often, it is the small things that give the lift, such as the news that wearing make-up is no longer mandatory for Virgin Atlantic female cabin crew, as announced earlier this week.

We could pick this policy decision apart and sneer, but it is progress, especially from a company led by Richard Branson, who has a long history of using half-naked women to promote his Virgin brand, be it airlines, hotels, space flights, or cruises.

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