‘Deeds not words’ — three small terms with a huge impact.
The motto, first adopted by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903 as the slogan of the new Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), signified a departure from the norm. After 50 years of peaceful campaigning and exasperated by a lack of progress regarding women’s rights, Emmeline Pankhurst concluded that drastic action was needed. Although increasingly militant means became the party’s political ammunition of choice as the years went on, in the beginning, chanting and protesting were the primary methods of activism. While it was a movement originally designed to get women the vote, the sentiment still holds true to this day for those who seek to challenge injustice in its varying forms.
In 1955, during the period of racial segregation in America, Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger. While she was not the first to do so, after being arrested for breaching state segregation laws, she became the face of the ‘Freedom Movement’ and an international icon as a civil rights activist. A simple deed that went against what was expected and demonstrated Parks’ belief that enough was enough, caused a cultural and societal avalanche that changed the world.
Words can be inspiring, powerful even, but without accompanying action, rarely do they lead to true revolution. Where the issues being addressed are ingrained, complex or even contextually controversial, promises are often broken and hands tied by red tape.
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’
is a phrase famously attributed to Gandhi, but he didn’t actually say it. A great example of the way in which words, in isolation from deeds, can be manipulated for a particular cause. Instead, and in fact far more valuable, were Gandhi’s original words published in text form in 1913, the year he lead a march against racial inequality:
‘If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change… We need not wait to see what others do.’
Not waiting is absolutely key.
The time is 2017, almost 120 years since the WSPU was formed and yet still 120 years away from closing the gender wage gap. With 45% of the global workforce now female, 120 years is too long to sit back and wait for gender parity and equality to happen. The time for active, not passive, participation is now and it must be a collaborative effort. We’re doing our bit to fight, because it’s a fight worth having. 50% of business leaders worldwide can and should be women. By creating the JuggleJobs platform, we are working to disrupt the inequitable status quo and empower the economic position of women, which will eventually lead to greater progress in other areas. Forget talking the proverbial talk, we are walking the real walk and putting our money where our feet are.
We are going to be the change. Join us!