Words: Nicci Talbot
The first National Women’s Day took place in the US on 28th February 1909 and a century later it’s still a day to celebrate economic, political and social achievements worldwide. There are lots of local events for me this week – marches, pampering and the fabulous jazz singer Lianne Carroll. Women in politics, business and education talks tomorrow and a Yoga Stops Traffick one day global yoga event on Saturday to raise funds for the Indian anti-trafficking organisation, the Odanadi Seva Trust.
I was listening to an interview on Woman’s Hour this morning with Mary Robinson, the former Irish president talking about her priorities for this year, which are getting more women in leadership and improving standards in reproductive care. She is one of five leading advocates of development policy presenting a case to parliament to ask for greater international investment in family planning. Around the world 250 million women want to delay or avoid pregnancy but have no access to contraception and face the prospect of unsafe abortions; pretty shocking statistics for the 21st century.
Robinson said she first tried to introduce a Family Planning Bill in 1971 but faced a huge backlash at the time. The Bill wasn’t published and it took 10 years for the legislation to be implemented. In her opinion things have regressed in some countries so the aim of the policy is to ensure contraception is available worldwide to all women by 2015. She believes having more women in leadership roles is the way forward to help us achieve this.
You can do your bit by participating in IWD events this week and supporting women’s health charities and local businesses run by women.
Funny Women Comedy Awards
Funny Women is described as a platform for women to extend their comedic and creative boundaries. It is celebrating its 10th anniversary by hosting a Charity Challenge in London tonight. 10 high profile women from media, business and academia will coming together to do stand-up for the first time to raise money for their chosen women’s charities, which include the FPA, Jo’s Trust and OBJECT.
@ The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, 45 Prescot Street, London E1 8GP. 7pm doors open, 8pm show starts.
There’s also a 3-day Women of the World (WOW) festival at The Southbank Centre, starting tomorrow – talks, debates and performances with various speakers including Eve Ensler (new book out soon called Vaginas...), Ruby Wax, Justine Roberts, Lynne Franks and Shami Chakrabarti.
Call a woman you love who inspires you and tell her how fabulous she is! Enjoy x