Today (Sunday) is national Women’s Equality Day.
Celebrated on the day women were finally given the right to vote in the United States (August 26, 1920, less than 100 years ago) it is a day to think about how far we’ve come, but more importantly to motivate us to act on the vast disparities that still exist such as the gender pay gap (which is even larger for minorities), the lack of mandatory paid parental leave in this country, how women make up about 51 percent of the population but just 20 percent of Congress, or how the number of women leading Fortune 500 companies has fallen in the last year.
For Stephen Curry, this is personal, because of his daughters Riley and Ryan, and he wrote about it at the Player’s Tribune.
I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period. I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly.
And of course: paid equally.
And I think it’s important that we all come together to figure out how we can make that possible, as soon as possible. Not just as “fathers of daughters,” or for those sorts of reasons. And not just on Women’s Equality Day. Every day — that’s when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country. Because every day is when the pay gap is affecting women. And every day is when the pay gap is sending the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.
It’s worth reading the entire article, where Curry talks about how he recently ran his first basketball camp for girls and how the experienced — the more focused commitment, the questions they asked both of him and female CEOs he had come — moved him. And changed him.
Someone will point out that Curry should have been more about women’s rights before he had daughters, and maybe so. But, life experiences change and define who we are, and help us see life in new ways. I cared about women’s rights before I had three daughters, but my life experience now has me more aware, focused, and willing to working on the issue. I cared about equal rights for gays and the entire LGBTQ community, but I became more aware, more focused, more willing to help that effort when a member of my family came out. That experience helped sharpen things for me.
It’s like that for all of us. Life shapes us.
As Curry’s experiences as a father have shaped him and will continue to do so. His awareness and willingness to use his platform to promote women’s equality is a good step. It’s something this nation needs.