I pray that my young daughters would not have to fight for their rights. I pray that they would not have to struggle to clear room for themselves to be able to flourish in life.
I pray that, by the time they are old enough to understand fully, the victories would already have been won. I pray that they could simply assume so many of the things that I as a man already do.
But where the battle still rages, I pray that they would fight.
I pray that they would never accept being told that they can’t do something simply because they are ‘girls’.
I pray that they would be gifted with the fierce determination they need to overcome restrictive structures and systems.
I pray that they would get angry where they see sexism or misogyny, and that they would channel that anger into action.
I pray that they won’t ever give up.
I give thanks for the amazing women in their lives: their extraordinary mother, their grandmothers and aunts. I pray that my daughters would take careful note of their example.
I give thanks that they live in a country where we have seen women as Premier and Governor, Prime Minister and Governor General. I give thanks that my daughters will never know a time when this would have seemed impossible.
I pray that they would remember those who have gone before them; those who are recognised by name and those who were no less important but whose names have been forgotten.
And I pray that they would stand in solidarity with women in places where the same opportunities (even to publicly take up the battle) are not available. I pray that they would never take their own ‘white lady’ privilege for granted and forget that they are deeply connected to women everywhere.
Finally, I pray that, in my role as father, I would be a help and not a hindrance. I pray that my daughters would grow to be strong, self-confident women in small part because of me, not despite me. I pray that they would be much more than just ‘my daughters’; that they would grow to be independent women (who nevertheless understand the value of interdependence). I pray that they would know who they are apart from me (or any man), but I pray also that they would never forget how much their dad loves them, and how proud of them he is (and always will be).