Life in the modern world
For many women, life in the modern world can be both awesome and hugely challenging. Modern life has made it easier to do more than before and we have a high level of life satisfaction in New Zealand compared to other countries.
However, pressures created by gender discrimination and factors such as a lack of financial stability, poverty, and overwork, can have a substantial impact on our mental health.
We also live in an age of unrealistic expectations. Studies show it is almost normal for women to experience unrelenting societal pressure to appear successful and ‘perfect’ (which includes, but is not limited to, body, diet, career, exercise regime, home décor, and family life).
To that end, there are now two conflicting value-sets for Kiwi women in society – equality and traditional gender roles – and we are somehow expected to fulfill both (i.e. ‘manage everything’). In my view, this is neither sustainable nor helpful.
These common challenges can be highly stressful and they limit our ability, as women, to thrive and reach our potential.
We have unique stories that need to be told
Of course, women are not a homogeneous group. Within our country parameters, women’s experiences of life and wellbeing can be vastly different. New Zealand has more than 200 ethnicities alone. Other factors that can influence our wellbeing and life experience include our: geographical location, experiences of being a mother or child-free, career and workplace environment, physical abilities, culture and identity, beliefs, and social and family connection.