Happy International Women’s Day to all the amazing women who are part of my life and those I look on and gently applause for all you do to empower women. On this day we rightly remember those women who made history herstory but I also honour the women who do extraordinary things everyday such as caring for a loved one with little support but always with love and compassion in our hearts. I remember all the mums who in the most difficult situations raise girls to be empowered and know they have control of their lives. Thanks too to all the younger women I know who are not afraid to challenge the everyday sexism that envelops our society.
The theme of IWD 2015 is make it happen. We need to empower women to believe that they can make a difference indeed they already do. We are the backbone of society. It is us who picks up the pieces. It is us who continues despite being most affected to the cuts to public services. We have huge hearts and heavy shoulders. We are held to ransom by politicians because they know we won’t withhold our labour when it comes to those who need it most. Also despite being exhausted ourselves we will help other people. I can say hand on heart that the most support I have had has been from other carers.
It is now 59 days to the General Election. The result of this election is going to have a huge impact on our lives whoever is in power. Single parents will be forced onto workfare rather than being given the choice to stay at home with their children. It is as always the most vulnerable women who will be affected most. Women with disabilities, carers and women on benefits. The fingers will be wagging at us once again. I like many other women will be there with my head raised above the parapet taking pelters for daring to challenge the way things are. We need to make it happen for ourselves and be cheered on and supported by the men who know of our struggles.
My favourite IWD song is “shaking the tree” by Peter Gabriel. I know he is a man but forgive him this once. He wrote it especially for IWD a few years ago. Lets shake our trees and lead the way for new activists. I am always mindful that I walk in the steps of amazing women whose footsteps I follow. Whose footsteps have began to create a footpath in the political landscape. It makes it easier for those behind us. Celebrate being a women today celebrate the groups you belong too. I am especially mindful of my sisters in the SSP and women for Independence. Celebrate YOU because You are special and amazing. Let’s make it happen together.