A day doesn’t go by when we’re not asked to celebrate something. But today really matters. It’s International Women’s Day and all week at Open we’ve been sharing the stories of women who have inspired us. They’re pictured here and you can follow the links below to find out more about them.
However, given a platform, it feels necessary to spend a moment to think about what we can’t be celebrating:
- Women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria
- One in three women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime
- 4 out of 5 victims of human trafficking are girls
And at home:
- Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales
- Women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings
The abuse and discrimination of women around the world is so ingrained in society that it can fade into the shadows.
The solution isn’t simple. But we can all take action today to fight for a world where our future generations study gender discrimination in their history lessons.
Starting with being mindful with our words and actions towards women in our lives: colleagues, partners, mothers, sisters, daughters. Let them be heard, encourage them to speak up and make space for them.
And if you’re in a position to donate I love these charities:
Take a minute to think about who’s inspired you and find someone to share their story with.
Valerie Jinks – Emma’s Mum, who 31 years ago set up a day centre for elderly people who live alone
Florence Nightingale – chosen by Ian for taking action rather than just using words
Dr Iris Long – an AIDS activist who sped up the creation of life-saving drugs, chosen by Cerys
Joan Didion – chosen by Max for writing about the ‘the deepest questions that sit somewhere inside of all of us’
Jill Phipps – an animal rights activist who was killed by a lorry carrying baby calves and inspired Sarah to become vegan
Joni Mitchell – chosen by Will for ‘ignoring the huge amount of sexist crap thrown her way’Marie Stopes – chosen by Fiona as pioneering woman who spoke directly to women
Michelle Obama – chosen by Julia because ‘she kick’s ass!’
Antonietta de Gregorio – Paul’s Nonna and a strong, principled, passionate, generous, stubborn and fiercely loyal woman who provided love and strength to her family
Rosie Chinchen – Amnesty International UK’s Fundraising Director, selected by Josh for her skills in fundraising
Thelma Ruby – a 93 year old actress and performer and fellow Loiner, nominated by Tash
Tiffany Brown – Clare’s housemate and a Youth Participation Officer working tirelessly with young people to get them involved in the community