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'The harsh truth is you can't easily have it all'



2GB and Nine presenter Deborah Knight shares a very special letter to her children this International Women's Day.

To my Dear Daughters,

Happy International Women's Day! It's great being a girl, and there's so much to celebrate.

We've come so far from the days when girls weren't allowed to do so much. We couldn't
have a job, or own our own things. We weren't allowed to vote at elections, or go to school,
and a lot of this was not that long ago, and for no good reason.

Girls and women were just as able to reach their full potential as you are today – they just
weren't given the chance.

'The harsh truth is you can't easily have it all, maybe not all at once. But I really hope you try'

Now, there are so many more opportunities for girls. If you work hard and put your mind to it,
you can achieve so much in your life and career. You can even be a champion in sports that
once only boys were allowed to play.

But unfortunately there is still a way to go before you are judged only on what you are able to
do, rather than whether you're a boy or a girl.

Your brother will still earn more money than you for the same job. He'll do less work around
the house, and retire on more superannuation. He'll be more likely to be your boss or the
Prime Minister.

You'll be at much greater risk of being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and if
you do become a professional sports star, you'll earn a fraction of what your brother would,
and most likely have to fit another job around your training to pay the bills.

There is so much to celebrate this International Women's Day, but I'm not going to tell you
what I believed was true when I was your age.

You can't easily have it all.

If you want to have children of your own and a career, it will be hard. You'll feel like you're
failing at one or both jobs – letting down your boss and your family at certain points. You'll
feel guilty, and be made to feel guilty for the choices you make.

The harsh truth is you can't easily have it all, maybe not all at once. But I really hope you try.

Love Mum.


And to my Dear Son,

I hope there's a day soon when we don't need to have an International Women's Day,
because boys and girls will be truly equal.

Your Dad does so much more in raising you and your sisters than Grandad or Great
Grandad ever did, and I know you will likely do more than all of them if you have your own
family one day. Although you need to get better at hanging up your towel after you have a

The truth is, the girls can fight as hard as they like to get the same opportunities as you, but
they'll never really achieve it without boys like you stepping up as well.

You need to make sure you show them respect, and call out boys and men you see treating
girls and women badly, either with their words or their actions.

And the truth is, we'll all be better off if boys and girls are treated equally. It will make life so
much easier for everyone.

So I hope you recognise the importance of International Women's Day, not just for your
sisters, but for families everywhere.

Love Mum.

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