In honour of International Women's Day this Sunday, I thought I would do a little post to highlight some of my favourite fierce & empowering female finds lately as well as share some thoughts on what IWD means to me this year...
I spent all of yesterday celebrating IWD with an amazing group of women from all over the world that are part of the 'Women's World' group at my work. We gathered together to listen to speeches from women who have overcome and achieved; we sang, line-danced (!) and ate homemade food from loads of different cultures of the world (PORTUGUESE CUSTARD TARTS!). So many of the women connected to this group arrived in the UK with huge obstacles to face - language, isolation, financial worries, separation from their families - but they have bravely built lives here now; lives that are blossoming, thriving and lives that now look outwards at how they can help others and create a more inclusive community here, where they now call home. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.
As much as I love the well known champions of women's rights and gender equality - the ones that get quoted, archived and noted so often - I can't help but be more in awe of the everyday heroines of women's empowerment - the ones that I know, that I saw in action yesterday.
The women (and men) that push other women forward into opportunities without threat or comparison, that mentor, that walk ahead and carve out paths to make them more accessible for girls that will walk behind. The women that volunteer, nurture, share and give. The women that don't seek the credit or attention, that sacrifice, that work like hell to provide and know the value of true investment in their local communities. The women that know they have their own issues, so they know how to treat people gently. Women that speak out the truth - even if their voice shakes; that lead; that love well. These are the women I want to be like, the women I admire and honour.
I hope you get to take some time this weekend to reflect on the 'everyday-incredible' females in your life. They are all too often overlooked for the shiny and new.
Ah, the sisterhood! It always gets me all worked up and preachy!
Now for some girl-power links:
+ If I was in London this weekend, I would DEFINITELY be heading to the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre - what an amazing line up of events, exhibitions and talks. Some year, I'll make it to this but if you are London-side and you are planning on heading over, don't forget to hit up Davina & Hannah of Seeds & Stitches craft stall on Sunday! Them girls know how to craft; it's sure to be a treat! I've just noticed they've also posted some GREAT ideas on how to celebrate IWD on their blog!
On a more local note....
+ This weekend we're heading out to watch a viewing of 'Half the Sky' - a documentary based on the book that highlights the plight of women around the world fighting bravely to change the story of inequality, poverty, abuse and exploitation. You can come too! Saturday evening, 7.30pm at Blick Studios, Malone Road, Belfast. Watch the trailer below:
+ Super cool Belfast sisters, Rebecca & Ruth have launched the brand new apparel brand 'Lines & Current'. With a new webshop up and running, they are curating classic items with clean lines & a boho twist (those sunglasses, though!). To boot, they are regularly partnering with charities that are doing great work and this month 10% of their proceeds are going to No More Traffik!
+ Finally - I've been loving keeping up with The Koko Story ever since I saw the 'Is That How You Define Me?' video last year (awesome spoken word - do watch!). Koko is run by Meg Cannon who uses film and other creative ways to empower girls & young women and lift the lid on the issues they face. They are launching a new film campaign this weekend called #ivegotyourback - stay tuned on their twitter for that.
Are you doing anything special to mark IWD? I'd love to hear your plans, or any other thoughts/links!