Keeping up the momentum after International Women’s Day

InternationalWomensDay-portraitInternational Women’s Day is a fantastic day for celebration, campaigning and catalytic change. I’ve had an inspiring day, collecting sanitary products for organisations such as Bloody Good Period and Foodbanks, eating feminist cakes (such as these brilliant ‘simply the breast’ and ‘cupcats’ and reading about inspirational women; celebrating them for everything they have done and continue to do for women worldwide.

I’ve put together some ideas of ways you can continue to support women after this International Women’s Day.

Support, Protect and Fight

Women’s Centres and refuges are shutting down across the UK, women only services are disproportionately affected by the government cuts. Find your local service and strive to protect it. Whether that’s fundraising, volunteering your time, or becoming a regular donor, these small organisations will really appreciate your support.

Live in London; why not support the West Hampstead Women’s Centre?

Let’s get political

The Suffragettes would’ve never made headway without the Suffragists also campaigning and creating change in the way that they believed in. If you feel enthused by your International Women’s Day activities then why not join the Women’s Equality Party? They’ve also just started their new campaign, Feminism 5.0 #FifthWave – sign up now to hear more about it. Already a member of a political party? Well, chances are they have a gender problem, so why not create change within the party?

Or want to stay out of political parties? The Fawcett Society are still continuing the great work of the brilliant suffragist, Millicent Fawcett, so why not become a member?

Listen, React, Share

Listen to other women, hear those diverse voices. If they need something from you, react to it, embrace it. See something that inspires you, enrages you, and warms your angry feminist heart? Share it, create conversation, don’t be a bystander. Be inclusive, not exclusive and check your privilege every day.

Feminist Media

Support independent feminist media, maybe become part of the Beehive and subscribe to Bitch magazine? Art has always been a place of revolution, of change, a space to fight, to shout and to be heard. Support and share feminist art; from Pussy Riot to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; don’t be afraid to stand for the rights of all women and always be assured there will always be a collective to protect you from the trolls.

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Charity Sector

Charity WomenIf you work in the charity sector and would like to fight the existing inequalities in the sector (you can read my blog about it here) then I would recommend joining Charity Women and be a force for change.

There’s so much more you can do, from clicktivism to pounding the pavement, find what works for you. Women have been written out of history, only occupying around 0.5% of recorded history, let’s not allow that erasure to continue.

 

 

 

Where are all the women? Charity women and the Women’s Equality Party Conference

On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration into one of the most powerful houses in the world, I felt it was apt to share this blog I wrote for Flow Caritas after they kindly sponsored my place to attend the inaugural Women’s Equality Party Conference in November 2016.

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Being a woman in the charity sector you often take for granted what an amazing experience it is being in a room with hundreds of incredible women. On Friday 25 November I was sat in a cavernous warehouse for the inaugural Women’s Equality Party Conference surrounded by over 1,500 women and men who are passionate and dedicated about revolutionary change to our everyday lives.

The evening kicked off with resounding music and incredibly inspirational speakers; including Leader of the Party, Sophie Walker and the two co-founders Catherine Mayer and Sandi Toksvig. What excited me the most, however, was the chair of the evening, the indomitable Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London.
Not only has Jude Kelly been an inspiration for women in the arts but also women in the Charity Sector.

Charity Women

I attended the Conference with Lizzi Hollis as part of Charity Women, a new group set up to tackle the existing inequalities for women in the third sector.

An inequality that many don’t see or admit exists. Two-thirds of the voluntary sector is made up of women (according to NCVO) but senior positions are still heavily dominated by men in the sector – nearly a fifth of males were working at Director/CEO level compared to just under a tenth for women.

We ran a fringe session with a number of women who currently work in the charity sector; some were senior consultants, others had just started their journey in small to large charities. What became abundantly clear was there is a dearth of female role models at senior positions within the sector.

There was fantastic energy in the room and definitely the will to change the status quo through positive action and the Charity Women group was definitely the best place for this.

We agreed that a toolkit was needed, so women at all levels within the sector, no matter how small or large the organisation is, have the tools and confidence needed to make positive change.

As a sector, we work so tirelessly to change the world to make it a better place for the beneficiaries we work so hard to support. We often forget to look inwards to adopt the changes that can make the workplace a better environment for all.

Take part

If you feel passionate about tackling the inequalities in the charity sector, whether that’s more women in Trustee positions, raising awareness of the incredible role models we already have in the sector or you would like to mentor other women in the sector. Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

A huge thank you to Flow Caritas for making it possible for me and Lizzi to attend the Conference, we left feeling inspired and determined to make the sector fairer for all.

On 5 May I pledge to give half my votes to equality

Sandi Toksvig and the Women’s Equality Party have asked me nicely through this very cute Suffragette animation to pledge to give half my votes to equality.

As a proud member of the Women’s Equality Party, this is my pledge to say, YES! I will pledge to give half my votes to the Women’s Equality Party and for a fairer London for all.

**Cover photo taken from Women’s Equality Party video with drawing and animation from Jacky Flemming**