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  • Writer's pictureClare Twelvetrees

Having a fair shot – what the US election might mean for Equality Starts at Home

Clare Twelvetrees - Chair & Co-Founder of Equality Starts at Home presenting at the Aspire Re-imagination Conference in June 2020
Clare Twelvetrees: Chair & Co-Founder of Equality Starts at Home at the Aspire Re-imagination Conference

I sat in the park on Sunday watching my daughter play whilst writing this blog on the back of a shopping list my partner had written – the only paper I had to hand! Perhaps the fact that he had written that list meant that I had a bit more time to write this.

I have been glued to the American election and listening to Harris and Biden’s speeches I have been thinking about what it means for Equality in the Home. Both speeches described a future of hope, equality, justice, unity, decency and truth. Harris’s inspirational speech spoke to a generation of girls, a first in so many ways, but, as she said, certainly not the last. They talked about family, Biden saying proudly ‘I am Jill’s husband’ and describing her role as an educator. Harris’s husband Doug tweeted ‘so proud of you’ and on his twitter account he describes himself as ‘dad, @KamalaHarris hubby..’. In a Marie Claire article he talks about how their relationship is based on parity and mutual respect.

Earlier that day I was on a zoom call and heard about a local councillor who had taken his baby into the council chamber to support his wife when she was at an important work meeting. And we are familiar of the sight of Jacinda Arderne’s partner Clarke Gayford looking after their child while she can hold down the most challenging job in New Zealand.

It is refreshing to see such support and pride in their wives and partners at the highest levels. Inclusive of all households, (and recognising that single people face different challenges of equality which we will write about in another post) this is what Equality Starts at Home is all about. Having an equal partnership at home – based on respect, trust and valuing each other so everyone – including any children - can have a fair shot at their dreams. It is not about men taking what could be perceived as a ‘back seat’ whilst their wives or partners are in the limelight. It is about supportive partnerships which derive a sense of purpose and unity to deliver shared goals - which can change and evolve over time.

I spoke at the Aspire Re-imagination conference in June about whether the future will be more equal and compassionate post COVID-19. And Equality Starts at Home was born. COVID-19 continues to shine a spot-light on essential work and inequality – including in the home. I am now – even more so - filled with hope for the future witnessing this shift occurring in the US. Yes it remains a divided country but the rhetoric at the top is changing. Equality is front and centre and the Biden-Harris partnership aims to heal. Role modelling positive and equal partnerships at home at the highest global level will make a difference. Let’s champion the change we want to see.

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