Tuesday, 26 January 2016

WHAT A WEEK IN INDIA TAUGHT ME! 

Today is my last day in India. It's been an amazing visit and I've been particularly moved by the tremendous efforts Doctors here go to to find and fund treatment options for their patients. 

Launching @aparitohealth was a particularly exciting personal milestone for me. Patients travelled from afar to use our monitoring devices and smart phone apps. In a country as vast as India remote monitoring with digital / mhealth has even more of a possibility to make a positive impact, and I really hope that aparito can play a small part in making that happen.

As a woman I've also been moved by the efforts made to give girls an equal chance of survival here, and having met some phenomenally successful Indian women on this trip I'm more determined than ever to promote equality for women. 
Like Sheryl Sandberg said in Davos recently, "Men still run the world - and I'm not sure it's going that well! Until we rectify that, everyone will suffer".

When I start to think about the issue on a global scale I get overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, and often end up thinking “there’s just no way I can make a difference”. But then I feel that all women have a responsibility to try to address this issue and all women have one thing which we can all do – talk about it! Talking about it is the first step towards acknowledging that there is a problem. Talking about it makes you and others consider what the issues are. Talking about it is also the first step to finding solutions.

Talking about equal opportunities is never pointless therefore. Talk about it with your partner, talk about it with your children, talk about it with your friends, your colleagues, your peers – everyone. Talk about it in every social circle you find yourself. Not everyone will thank you, and not everyone will agree with the opinion that there’s a problem to be resolved. But like the Australian comedian Tim Minchin elegantly said in his “occasional address” for a graduation ceremony:

Be Hard On Your Opinions
A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.
We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat.
Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege.
Most of society’s arguments are kept alive by a failure to acknowledge nuance.

By helping ourselves and others do this, and not just be accepting the status quo we all stand to make a difference.



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