Paloma Faith to raise child gen­der neu­tral

Cyprus Today - - UK -

BRI­TISH singer Paloma Faith said she is rais­ing her child gen­der neu­tral to avoid dam­ag­ing stereo­types as she threw her weight be­hind a cam­paign for girls’ equal­ity on Wed­nes­day.

Ms Faith, who has re­fused to make pub­lic the sex of her one-year-old, said she en­coun­tered gen­der ex­pec­ta­tions “all the time” but hoped to give her child space to grow with­out the pres­sure of pre­con­cep­tions.

“I’m just rais­ing my child to be who they are,” Ms Faith, 37, said.

“I don’t dif­fer­en­ti­ate gen­der be­cause I don’t be­lieve you should to a young child.”

Ms Faith, named best Bri­tish fe­male solo artist at the Brit Awards in 2015, was speak­ing for the launch of char­ity Plan In­ter­na­tional’s Girls Get Equal cam­paign on the eve of In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl on Thurs­day.

The cam­paign aims to sup­port young women to drive change for gen­der equal­ity.

Girls face dis­crim­i­na­tion around the world and lag be­hind in terms of power, voice and lead­er­ship, said Plan In­ter­na­tional. They are one­and-a-half times more likely than boys to miss out on pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion, while vi­o­lence against girls is so nor­mal that many see it as an “an ac­cepted part of be­ing fe­male”, it said.

They are also paid less. Last year, the World Bank said women will have to wait 217 years to earn the same as men and have equal­ity at work, and the gap is widen­ing.

Ms Faith, who has spo­ken about be­ing raised by a sin­gle mother, said much of her suc­cess was down to the sup­port of other women but she was frus­trated that equal­ity was not com­ing fast enough for to­day’s chil­dren.

“I feel like it’s not as far along as it should be and I don’t feel like there has been a ma­jor amount of progress since my gen­er­a­tion,” she said.

Ms Faith added that a more fe­male-led so­ci­ety would be kinder and free of bu­reau­cracy which she said is “def­i­nitely in­vented by men”.

The Girls Get Equal cam­paign, co-or­gan­ised with youth ac­tivists, will in­clude more than 1,000 events held across 70 coun­tries.

It will sup­port youth ac­tivists and ad­vo­cates to take part in di­rect ac­tion to ad­vance girls’ rights within their com­mu­ni­ties, and fund work to sup­port girls and young women.

“It’s girls’ turn to take the lead, to be seen, heard and val­ued as equals,” said Anne Bir­gitte Al­brect­sen, Plan In­ter­na­tional’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

“The world needs a game changer and young peo­ple have the power and ideas to make this hap­pen.”

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