International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
Each year, the day has a theme. For 2021, it is #ChooseToChallenge
“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”
There are thousands of women challenging the way of the world, and we wanted to spotlight a few worth celebrating this International Women’s Day.
- Minh Dang, Survivor Alliance
- Survivor Alliance is run by and for survivors or human trafficking and modern slavery, putting survivor-led interventions at the forefront of support. This unique project creates space for survivors to be heard in the anti-slavery field, while also building community, education, peer support, and rebuilding.
- Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, Leicester Community Benefit Centre
- The Leicester Community Benefit Centre offers support to the vulnerable people of Leicester, where multiple indices of deprivation and disadvantage overlap. While they started as a way to shrink food poverty and surplus waste, the revenue supports local organisations to offer employment and volunteering opportunities.
- Claire Prosho, Claire’s Transgender Talks
- Claire’s Transgender Talks offers training, speaking, advice, or resources to help community groups, organisations and businesses to understand Transgender and Non-Binary people and foster safer and more understanding spaces. The training utilises an “unlearning” approach - challenging and dissecting what participants think they know or understand about everything Transgender and rebuilding that knowledge using current scientific understanding, before exploring issues, interactions and discrimination.
- Seyi Akiwowo, Glitch
- Glitch was built on Seyi's personal experiences of receiving targeted online abuse, and the difficulties in finding support or justice. Dedicated to building digital resilience, citizenship, and systemic safeguarding, Glitch's mission has been proven to be critical in 2020 - a time when online abuse of minoritised communities has significantly grown.
- Audrey Mutongi, The No.1 Care Agency
- The No.1 Care Agency believes everyone should be able to receive the care they need in the warmth, safety and familiarity of their own home. Their mission is to create a care service that allows people to live their fullest, happiest lives in the place they call home. The innovative, unique, and user-friendly care service matches care professionals to users, using expertise from their No.1 Befriending Agency. Users and their loved ones can trust that they'll be looked after by experienced, vetted people best suited for their specific needs, personality and life experience.
- Kari Gerstheimer, Access Social Care
- Access Social Care provides free legal advice for people with social care needs, helping them to achieve a better quality of life. Access Social Care supports communities with social care needs to increase their knowledge of the law. Their network of lawyers and barristers ensure fair access to justice when things go wrong, resulting in a 98% success rate for their work. Currently, they are developing a legal information chatbot to help fill the gap left by cuts to Legal Aid.
- Marilyn Comrie, Black United Representation Network (BURN)
- New membership organisation Black United Representation Network (BURN) brings together nine Black VCSE and micro-enterprise leaders and founders to create Black economic empowerment in Greater Manchester. Persistent inequalities have locked out people of African descent from economic stability and resilience, and BURN's guidance will ensure local authorities and Black-led organisations are heard and represented in Manchester's recovery and Brexit navigation.
- Kemi Akinola, Brixton People’s Kitchen
- Brixton People's Kitchen supports North Lambeth residents to access culturally relevant and accessible food, training and support for the financially vulnerable, and support for people with no reoucrse to public funds. The café and grocery offering not only meet basic living needs, but also creates a space where people can eat, share, learn, and be empowered. Brixton People's Kitchen are kickstarting their growth plan and developing their food co-op.
- Jennie Hamble, WetWheels CIC
- Wetwheels Hamble CIC uses a specially adapted motorboat to create positive experiences for people with disabilities, their families, and their carers. While on the water, Wetwheels Hamble CIC offers education and confidence-building activities, as well as mental health support. Through this funding, they'll be able to train volunteers in disability awareness, first aid, and provide on board training to continue offering their COVID-safe activities.
Women should be celebrated every day, beyond just one day or month a year. To pursue equity, we have to constantly be thinking about imbalance and how to address it. As we encourage people to be, buy, or back social entrepreneurs, we should also challenge ourselves to find the ones led by women and other marginalised groups.
From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.