International Women’s Day #lastingchange

Today is International Women’s Day and I was very excited to receive a digital postcard from Team Honk this week, all the way from Tanzania. Let me take a little trip back down memory lane for a sec to the time when I first became aware of International Women’s Day…

It was about 17 or 18 years ago, when I was in high school. I was lucky enough to have an amazing sociology teacher who opened my eyes to the world that existed beyond my very middle class, suburban girls school. He urged us to appreciate the opportunities I know I very often took for granted. He empowered us by teaching us to question and act and speak out. He reminded us constantly that the future was ours to take hold of and shape into our own vision.

He passed away just after we took our final exams having been ill for some time, and looking back I feel incredibly blessed that he chose to spend his last days teaching, and teaching me. He changed me for the better and I’m always reminded of him on IWD.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Inspiring Change and a bunch of beautiful women and bloggers are doing just that. This week Annie, Tanya and Pennie from Team Honk visited The Gatsby Trust in Tanzania. You can read all about their trip over at Team Honk but basically The Gatsby Trust is a Sport Relief funded project that aims to help women who have set up their own businesses.

It helps women like Eliafura.

woman #iwd2014 #lastingchange | bluebirdsunshine

That’s the digital postcard I received from Annie, Tanya & Pennie this week and this is what Annie, Penny & Tanya told me about Eliafura:

Eliafura makes the most beautiful batiks and tie dyed material. With the support of the Gatsby Trust Eliafura has registered her business and learned important health and safety rules around the chemicals she uses. Eliafura now also trains other women in the village who bring material to her and she shows them how to create these beautiful patterns. They sell easily to not only local schools where teachers like to buy them but also overseas. We bought her entire stock because we loved them all so much and are now working out how to sell them on so we can complete the circle of donation, funding, training, selling, donating.

The postcard reminded me that we live in a global village. A world where not all women have the same rights. Here’s a few facts I found interesting:

  • 70% of the world’s poorest people are women and they own only 1% of the world’s property.
  • Nearly 50% of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls aged 15 years or younger
  • Domestic violence is the largest cause of women’s injury and death – leading to more deaths and disability among women aged 15-44 than malaria, war, traffic accidents and cancer.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that female genital mutilation (FGM) has affected as many as 138 million women and girls in Africa, and the numbers continue to rise every year.
  • Many women and girls have poor access to education and about two thirds of all illiterate people are women.

Do you want to use your voice and power to make lasting change? Here’s what you can do to help:

You can help raise awareness by RTing posts where you see the hashtag #lastingchange. Or get involved with Sport Relief in any way you like. I baked, but you can do practically anything!

If you’re able, you can also donate. Help make #lastingchange and sponsor #teamhonkrelay for Sport Relief They are proof that people can make changes, lasting changes, having raised over £22,000 so far.

So please, go on, take action – speak out – because your actions may inspire others. Think of the world we want to live in and do everything in your power to make it that way. I feel we owe that to the future generations.

If you want to see all the postcards sent from Tanzania just pop on over Team Honk.

A big thank you to Tanya, Pennie and Annie for the lovely postcard and for being such incredible inspiring women. I know my sociology teacher would be very proud that you’re using ‘the information superhighway’ (it was the 90’s!) to make #lastingchange.

Go Team Honk!



4 responses to “International Women’s Day #lastingchange

  1. Thank you SO very much for sharing this. The recollection of your old teacher really does go to show how people can shape each others lives, just as the women we met are doing by training others x

  2. My daughter was studying about racial equality lastyweek & that led us to discussing women’s equality & I explained to her that there are still many women in the world who are still not seen as equals… It is such a blessing to have other wise people around us like your teacher who help us remember that we are truly blessed & with that comes great opportunities to spread love & respect for all people. Thanks for sharing

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