{In Her Own Words} International Women’s Day – What do YOU know?

Nicola from Pointy Pix is a secretary by day, and an illustrator by night. She is also addicted to wedding blogs.


When I received an email from Any Other Wedding to participate in the post for International Women’s Day my initial reaction, I cannot lie, was to think ‘what could I possibly contribute? I like being a women, feeling protected and looked after by my husband, buying pretty shoes and other female frippery. I know how to do things for myself, of course I do, and when left to my own devices I am pretty capable. However, I’m not a bra-burning, Doc Martin wearing feminist, vocal on all issues concerning womankind – what do I know of these things?’
 
My next thought was to feel ashamed that I had, for that moment, allowed the media’s notion of a feminist to become mine when I know damn well that women from all walks of life have fought for the right to be heard and treated as equal to their male counterparts for hundreds of years.

I mulled it over for a while longer and then it dawned on me that loving being a woman is exactly what International Women’s Day is all about. The day is to celebrate all that is good about being female, recognise the struggles and inequality that females in history have overcome and to keep raising awareness for those women who still don’t enjoy the equality and basic human rights that we in the West (for the most part) take as given.

I will hold my hands up and admit that I don’t know nearly enough about things happening all over the world today to women and how, even now, they are suffering by virtue of biology.

One thing I did learn about, through a charity called The Blind Project was the ongoing plight of women and children in South East Asia and their descent into the murky and horrifying world of the sex trade through a lack of education, money or any other alternative in their lives. Very often they are sold into this sordid life, as children, by their families who simply can’t afford to feed them. The Blind Project’s aim is to educate these women, teach them new skills in clothing design and production which can then offer them a way out of that lifestyle by offering them employment using their newly acquired skills. They are creating a sustainable style brand called Biographe.  I came to learn about this when I entered a competition run by The Blind Project to create a design which illustrated the story of one of three examples given of women who had known no other way of life from a young age. The design I came up with depicted a woman being unshackled from the chains of that life by another woman – which seems quite appropriate today.


Unshackled


Any Other Wedding and Angie at One Cat Per Person to remind us that there is more to being a woman than stressing about wrinkles/hair-colour/weight/what to wear on Saturday night (delete as appropriate) and to help educate us on what is going on in the world around us (I only started reading the blog to look at pretty wedding pictures and now look at what I’m learning!) then nothing will ever change. Thank you for giving me a shake and reminding me how lucky I am to be a woman today.






In Her Own Words: In Celebration of International Women’s Day 2011” was created to share and celebrate the experiences of women from many walks of life. All day Tuesday, March 8th Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person will feature posts written by a collective of intelligent, passionate and opinionated women bloggers from the United States and the United Kingdom. The conversation begins here, but it does not have to end here. We encourage you to comment and create dialogue as well as visit their respective blogs. Be sure to stop by Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person throughout the day to read all of the posts in the series. For more information about International Women’s Day, visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/




Banner: Joshua Gomby
Categories: International Women's Day
5 interesting thoughts on this

5 Comments

  1. Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Thank you Nicola, for your honesty and for introducing me to The Blind Project. Also for letting us showcase your beautiful work-it's stunning and so appropriate for today.

    X

  2. Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you for introducing me to the Blind Project. As an academic specialising in Southeast Asia, and having carried out my fieldwork there, I know all to well about the growing sex industry there. In Thailand and Cambodia sex tourists behave abysmally and flaunt their nasty behaviour publicly. Slowly but surely these pests and perverts are being fought against, but what of the women and girls who have no recourse to welfare? Projects like these are so important for empowering these females to support themselves in unexploitative ways.

  3. Posted March 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    As you know, I also didn't know much about this all until recently. I'm so glad that we've been able to not only raise other's awareness of women's issues, but to raise our own awareness. This is exactly what this project was about, and it's working. Hooray for that.

    xx

  4. Anna K
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Nicola. This is my area of work and I get so angry at how easy it is for people to forget that the principal reason women (and men, and children) get internally trafficked or internationally trafficked is because of a lack of other options available to them…it's not all Albanians smuggling women into the back of vans at Arrivals.

    And I'm absolutely with you "on the battle of knickers vs principles"

  5. Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    This was exactly my reaction too – I felt like I wasn't knowledgable enough about women's issues to contribute, that I was a fraud (I too am fond of pretty shoes). But it just shows that we all have something to say, and thank you for bringing this charity to my attention.

    I also LOVE your illustration – it's beautiful and eloquent, and very memorable (did you win??).

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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