I never really, fully enjoyed the 8th of March, International Women’s Day. It has always seemed to me like a celebration that focuses on diversity rather than equality; distinction rather than inclusion. I've always written that it must be the 8th of March all year round. Why? It’s a matter of principle.
As long as someone thinks they can decide on a woman's body, imposing motherhood on her, there will be nothing to celebrate. As long as a woman interviewing for a job is asked if she intends to have children, there will be nothing to celebrate. As long as a working woman is paid less than her male counterparts, there will be nothing to celebrate. As long as it is considered normal to insult a woman who experiences her sexuality freely, there will be nothing to celebrate. As long as someone deems it normal to abuse, harass, beat, rape a woman, there will be nothing to celebrate.
International Women’s Day is a chance to acknowledge women’s contributions to history, culture and society. But this year I ask you all to do more. Look for a local women’s shelter or a women’s health clinic and volunteer in your community. Take the time to give back to the women near you who need it the most. Not just today, but all year round.
Here are 5 organisations that contribute, in one way or another, not only to the general well-being and health of women, but also push for a lasting socio-economic change in the system. Donating or helping out these organisations (or others, for that matter) means choosing to challenge a deeply rooted inequality, and supporting women to the fullest.
Here at LAPP The Brand we pride ourselves in being a young, global, fiery community of womxn. We are a force of nature. We are a trusted place for womxn of all generations to share experiences and learn from each other. Established in 2016 by Leomie Anderson, LAPP The Brand was created to embody the 21st century girl and produce clothes that represent not only their style but their issues. The fashion products that you all can buy here, will help to sustain LAPP Magazine, where we give people identifying as female the chance to speak up and to campaign on issues that matter to them, and therefore to us.
“Every woman has the power to transform her world. When women work together, we have the power to create a better world for all of us.” This charity organisation invests in women survivors of war and conflict, providing them with social and economic skills to transform their own lives. Their main goal is to create a world in which women determine the course of their future by reaching their full potential.
Established in 1982 by a group of Somali women, with the aim of ending female genital mutilation (FGM), they now cover every angle of women’s health. They want to improve the health of black women by finding new ways to address social inequalities and raise awareness on the issue, in order to give better access to health and social care provisions. But that’s not all. They promote both the physical and mental health of women and their families, and help BAME children to have a better start in life.
Their mission is to close the gender gap in tech by teaching girls computing skills like programming, robotics, and web design, but also values such as bravery and sisterhood. The results are tangible. As of 2015, only 18% of computer science college graduates were women. Only 3 years later, Girls Who Code has reached more than 50,000 girls with their computer science education programmes. As they say on their website, “Girls Who Code is more than an international non-profit. We are a movement.”
This UK-based organisation is a community of over one million people that drives "feminist cultural and political change.” They create a pathway for millions of women and their allies to directly influence the laws and policies that govern our lives. How do they do that? By conducting online campaigns using social media that highlight a variety of women's issues such as violence against women, maternity leave, equal pay, and reproductive rights. Their mission statement is to "fight sexism and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women.”
Written by Miriam Tagini