This Sunday is International Womens Day, the purpose of which is to raise awareness of womens equality. Just in case you need persuading on the necessity of a day like this, consider that women are still consistently paid less than men for doing the same jobs, that women still do most of the childcare and housework duties, despite many also working, that sexual harassment is still so prevalent both on the street and online . And finally, consider this from the wonderful Gloria Steinem.
So yes, we definitely do still need International Womens Day and there is much work to be done. Here are 10 creative ways to get involved and make a difference.
- Get together with your female friends to celebrate and raise awareness of gender inequality. Another good excuse for brunch, me thinks. Discuss what feminism means to you. Choose a couple of actions on the Shape Your Culture website as discussion points.
- Sew some simple cloth sanitary pads for for donatepads.org. Periods are a huge taboo subject in much of Africa, India and South America and sanitary protection is also very expensive. As a result girls use other, sometimes unsanitary paddings and many girls miss school when they are on their period with damaging results.
- Get in touch with your local domestic violence shelter and see if they would like to receive knitted blankets or handmade pillow cases, cloth toys, or toilet bags. Make them alone or organise a stitch in.
- If they can't accept donations in kind then host a fundraising crafternoon for Refuge, the domestic violence shelter charity. In return for tea, cake and an opportunity for guests to make something, guests donate some cash.
- Start a feminist book club! Read books by female authors (lots of inspiration in the Penguin Heroine Pinterest board) or read some classic feminist texts together (more coming this week on that!).
- Join in with the Craftivist Collective footprint making. Stitch a thought, quotation or lyric onto a printed fabric footprint and either keep it for yourself to remind you to stay on the right path, or give it to someone to encourage them to be their best selves and leave a positive mark on the planet. You can even leave your footprint in a public place where members of the general public will spot it. Buy a kit from their shop here.
- Start a feminist board on Pinterest. Pinterest is fast becoming a tool for social change. It’s a great place to gather your favourite quotes and articles. A board about your most inspiring heroines would be inspirational for other women, or boards about your favourite female authors, directors, politicians, campaigners or sportswomen. The viral nature of pinterest means that these images will be seen by many people- spreading good women-loving vibes across the internet!
- Wear something purple in honour of the suffragettes on International Women's day itself.
- Gift little posies of purple flowers to women who have inspired you. Give or send a card telling them why.
- Make a vat of popcorn and watch a film that passes The Bechdel Film Test with your daughter (if you have one) or friends and talk about the female protagonist and what you liked about her.
Davina and I will be at WOW festival (yeah!) this weekend, are any of you coming? Look out for our session: Make your feminist Mark with the ‘Feminist Rubber Stamp Collection’ Sunday 8th 12-1pm Southbank Centre. Make your feminist mark on a piece of textiles you bring in and create you're very own feminism inspired pattern.
Are you going to celebrate International Womens Day this year?