International Women’s Day

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Today my twitter timeline is full of #IWD chat. I’d presumed this was mainly a demonstration of the kind of people I follow but lo and behold #IWD was trending as the third highest topic in the UK this morning!

Contrary to what I’ve seen around, today isn’t about recognising the special women in your life/turning the occasion into another reason to buy a Hallmark card. International Women’s Day is about campaigning for full equality for all women everywhere in the world. I’ve not had a particularly politically active day, but this is what I’ve been up to:

  • Shamed myself with a measly 5/10 in the Guardian’s International Women’s Day Book Quiz
  • Read my wonderful friend Juliet’s fantastic article Sex and Power on Bella Caledonia. Their description of her is perfect:                Juliet Swann is a feminist & environmentalist who passionately hopes that the independence debate can change the lives of women in Scotland for the better.
  • Attended engender Scotland’s IWD debate ‘Scottish independence or better together: what does it mean for Scotland?’  Both Carolyn Leckie of Women for Independence and Kainde Manji of Better Together spoke honestly and eloquently in a debate which was refreshingly non-party political. Dozens of women listened and asked questions, with most declaring themselves as yet undecided on how they’ll vote. It was the most interesting discussion on independence I’ve been privy to, as everyone was respectful, balanced and shock horror actually listened to the other debater. Both sides, and those in the middle, want to build a society where we support women better by, amongst other things, increasing female political representation, reducing violence against women and creating an inclusive nation in which women who face additional barriers (whether through disability, poverty, carers’ responsibilities, racism, language barriers etc) play an equal role in Scottish democracy.

 

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