It's 2016, So What Do Women Really Want?

The ELLE Editors say what they want for women and for themselves

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At ELLE HQ, we're all very vocal about getting what we want.

We all want something. Whether it's a great career, seeing the world, becoming a leader, learning to code, taking up a new sport, starting a family, buying a house, finding our 'true selves' – there's something in our lives that we're actively striving for.

That's why we do what we do: we work hard, we play hard, and we want to achieve.

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And the majority of women want something for the rest of womankind, too. Closing the gender pay gap, supporting other women to get to the top, campaigning for the right to do what they want with their bodies, getting more women into male-dominated careers. There's still a long way to go in getting equality for everyone.

But how have our needs, wants and aspirations changed in the past 20 years? Have we made any progress? Is our success measurable? Are we thinking about the bigger picture? Are we achieving what we're setting out to do, whatever our goals are? And ultimately, if we aren't then why not?

In 1996, The Body Shop founder, the late Dame Anita Roddick, started a nationwide campaign called 'What Women Want'. She asked the women of the UK to simply write on a postcard what they wanted – and she received more than 10,000 responses. The project made national media headlines, sparked a lively debate at the United Nations and got women focusing on their goals more than ever.

Twenty years on and the second part of the campaign has been launched, appropriately on International Women's Day. In association with Hearst, we're asking the women of the nation again: what do you want?

The editors of ELLE share their answers…

Kenya Hunt, Fashion Features Director

'I want to work in a world where a woman can aspire to have children without feeling fearful that it might impact her job security, earning power or ability to reach the top of her field.'

Elizabeth Cooney, Senior Designer

'I want women to be kinder to each other and stop feeding their insecurities with judgement of others. This is the only way we'll get women at the top and close the pay gap. To a certain degree, some women like to see other women fail which is ultimately our Achilles heel and this needs to stop.'

Fern Ross, Associate Editor (Production)

'Equal pay, and to feel safe when walking home alone at night. I hate always feeling like I need to carry keys in my hand/wear trainers/run etc. Women shouldn't have to feel vulnerable or fear for their safety, wherever they are.'

Hannah Swerling, Features Editor

'I want all women to be paid the same salary as their male counterparts and in light of this week's news, for all women to have safe access to an abortion if that's what they choose.'

Emma King, Deputy Chief Sub-Editor

'I'm not thinking of starting a family yet, but I want to know that when I do, I can come back to work and be supported rather than fearful that you "can't have it all".'

Natasha Bird, Digital Content Editor

'I want us to effectively tackle unconscious bias. It's all very well taking a stand against the Donald Trumps of this world, but there are so many more subtle instances of sexism that occur everyday, mostly unwittingly by the people committing them. Changing this means re-education and addressing the issue in our parenting, as soon as we bring new girls and boys into the world.'

Now it's your turn: tell us what you want here and together we can make that change happen.

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