On Friday 8 March, women and men around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day – a day dedicated to championing women’s achievements - from the political to the social - while shouting for gender equality.
It brings together governments, women's organisations, corporations, charities and communities.
The original aim of this celebration – to achieve full gender equality for all the women around the world – has still not been realised though.
A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.
Illustration by John Holcroft
According to the World Economic Forum, it could still take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears entirely.
On this day, every year, women come together to force the world to recognise these inequalities – while also celebrating the achievements of women who have, eventually, overcome these barriers.
For 2019 the day’s campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter which is a call-to-action for building a gender-balanced world.
Here at CAN Mezzanine we really care about women's rights and equality and we have been very proud that our co-founder and trustee, Helen Taylor Thompson has been chosen as one of the 100 BBC Women last year.
Whitin our office spaces we host charities whose mission is to enhance women’s life, through educational, psychological and legal support, if needed:
- Women for Women International UK helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives. When women join the charity’s 12-month training programme, they come together in classes of 25, meeting other women who have been through similar experiences – so they are no longer on their own. They learn practical skills to start a small business and begin earning an income, and they learn about their health and their rights. Take part in their IWD awareness campaign this year and share your #MessageToMySister on social media to inspire your network to write their own message of solidarity. Women for Women International UK will translate it and deliver it to women in their programmes.
- Women and Girls Network is a free, women-only service that supports women in London who have experienced violence or are at risk of violence. They offer counselling, advocacy and advice for women and girls who have experienced gendered violence, including sexual and domestic violence. Their aim is to promote, preserve and restore the mental health and well-being of women and girls, to empower them to make a total and sustainable recovery from their experiences of violence. Check their upcoming training courses in London.
- SafeLives offers support to people who experienced domestic abuse. They combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives.
- Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. They offer support to women and families affected by cancer and campaign for excellence in cervical cancer treatment and prevention.
The International Women’s day is also a day to come together and celebrate women’s achievements, as well as make everyone hear women’s voice.
It is a great opportunity to attend various events, conferences, celebrations and rallies, until the end of March.
Here is a list of some of the most interesting events in London:
- WOW: Women of the World Festival: Nine years after its launch, the Women of the World (WOW) festival returns this year to the Southbank Centre to celebrate women and girls across the globe, coinciding with International Women’s Day 2019. The two-day event will see political activist Angela Davis and author and filmmaker Naomi Klein take the stage, as well as talks and workshops looking at gender politics and the barriers preventing women and girls from finding true equality. London; Prices vary; 8-9 March. Find out more information here.
- Tech(k)now Day: It’s a well-known fact that women are under-represented in the STEM sector. So, that’s why Tech(k)now day has been created a space for women to learn new tech skills and gain tech start-up advice. Better still, if you’re a woman founder or woman co-founder of a start-up, you’re entitled to apply for a free exhibition space. Expect workshops on Python, Android 101, Java-script, and beginner HTML/CSS. London; £35-99; 9 March. Find out more information here. “+link”
- Black Power Women of Brixton walk: Women’s role in the fight for black civil and equal rights in Britain has been severely marginalised. This walk through Brixton will show the life, stories, and activities of numerous African/Caribbean women in the area. Documenting the anti-racist fight in housing, education and politics from the 1950's to the 1980's, the two hour and 15-minute walk will cover newspaper publisher and campaigner Claudia Jones, the Depo Provera birth control scandal, the Black Panther Women of Brixton and more. London; £10; 10 March. Find out more here.
- Big Mouth 1st Birthday Party for Bloody Good Period: Launched by production duo Isabella Blythe and Lauren Jerome in 2018, Big Mouth is a comedy night with a difference. All proceeds will be donated to grassroots group Bloody Good Period, which provides asylum seekers with sanitary products. London; 10£; 22 March; More information here.