Chantelle Otten: What Women Really Want In 2021
International Women’s Day is such an important day on the calendar for me. Not just because it celebrates our achievements as women, but because it is a time when I get to sit back and watch as so many of us step up and share their voices.
IWD is such a powerful platform for women to be vocal for whatever it is that they believe in. It’s like we draw strength from this day to speak up for what we want from the world that we live in and our dreams for the future.
In my line of work, I get to speak to women every day about what is important to them in a relationship. Sometimes they have been with a partner for years before they can even talk to me about these issues, let alone share them with their significant other. For way too long, so many of the women I speak to admit to being silent about what they want and need when it comes to a relationship or sex, and my job is to help them speak up and have a voice.
But as we slowly break away from 2020 and move forward in this post-COVID new world, I can’t help but sense there is a change in the air. A change, where slowly but surely, women are speaking up for what they want and are owning what is important to them.
Bumble dived into this in its new ‘Modern Womanhood Report’ — to better understand how Australian women feel about relationships (with themselves and others), gender and equality.
COVID has taught us many things — some lessons more important than others — but the report found that 82 percent of Australian women believe the events of 2020 gave them time for self-reflection and the opportunity to get to know themselves better.
Perhaps my favourite finding in the report was that when it comes to dating, 87 percent of women feel more aware than ever of what an unhealthy relationship looks like — and 74 percent of those feel like they have a better understanding of what a healthy relationship would look like for them going forward.
The Bumble Modern Womanhood Report also found that 86 percent of us now feel more able to be themselves in their family life, 83 percent feel more able to be their true self among their friends, and 75 percent feel they are prepared to be their true self in their work life.
In addition, the findings show 70 percent of Australian women feel that their intimate friendships can be just as rewarding as romantic relationships, proving that it takes many types of relationships to build a happy and healthy life.
For me, 2020 was a time to put things into perspective. It taught me that life is too short to settle for second best in any area . I can’t help but think that out of the total sh*t storm of last year comes the opportunity for women to have a permanent and justified voice about what they want for themselves.
That’s not to say we still don’t have a long way to go. The report found that even though 88 percent of Australian women under 50 feel empowered by the rights, freedoms and choices they have today, a further 76 percent feel that the last twelve months has shed a light on the inequality that still exists for many women’s everyday experiences.
So, this International Women’s Day, let’s embrace the theme of #ChooseToChallenge. Let’s come together and challenge gender bias, race bias, any bias, for that matter, and call out inequality where we see it.
Let’s also challenge ourselves and stand up for what we want and what we believe in — both as individuals and in relationships. And let’s lean into the lessons of 2020 and take them with us to be totally authentic with our friends, our family, our partners and ourselves.
By signing up to Bumble women can give power to other women worldwide through the Moves Making Impact product feature. Every time a Bumble user makes the first move by sending a message to a new match, Bumble makes a donation to a woman leader chosen by international development nonprofit Vital Voices.