International Women’s Day 2014 and FLOW

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2014, FLOW grantees organised all sorts of activities, and a contest was organized to celebrate the most creative and innovative activities, and push people to go further with their ideas.

The overall winner was the #BoardtheBusProject by Breakthrough; five other projects were also been selected by the FLOW team as winners, and were promoted on social media. Below you will find more information on all 18 initiatives that were submitted and who all deserve an honourable mention on this website.

  1. Breakthrough – #BoardTheBus

On March 8, 2014, Breakthrough will join women in Delhi, to demand safer public transportation by reclaiming the space on the buses that is rightfully theirs to use without feeling threatened. Breakthrough are calling on female commuters to come together to force a public dialogue between the government, transport organisations and society as whole, on the issue of safety around gender based violence on buses in Delhi, with the broader aim of opening this discussion out into the wider discussion around the dangers that women face while using public transport.

The discussion started online and people are encouraged to take selfies while boarding the bus to post on social media and raise awareness of the movement. Also, a flashmob is organised in Delhi on a public bus stop. The campaign can be followed at #BoardTheBus and on the website: http://breakthrough.tv/boardthebus

 

  1. Global Fund for Women – #GirlsDeserveBetter

To commemorate IWD, Global Fund for Women launched a campaign with focus on ending violence against women and girls on February 14 2014. Using the hashtag #GirlsDeserveBetter, the social media campaign encourages supporters to engage by filling in the sentence ‘I will marry when’ with their concerns surrounding violence against women. It has so far been used highlights stories on a wide variety of challenges faced by girls, including forced marriage, domestic violence, etc. These stories can be found on www.globalfundforwomen.org

  1. PAN AP – WOMEN ASSERT OUR RIGHTS TO LAND AND RESOURCES

Creating spaces for rural women to empower their earning ability and independence will facilitate and strengthen the movement in asserting their inalienable rights to land, food and resources. The 2-year campaign was launched in March 2014 during the International Women’s Day, with a re-assertment in October 2015 during International Rural Women’s Day. Initially, at least 11 rural women’s groups and advocates in countries across Asia and Africa simultaneously held public forums, cultural programmes, mobilisations, dance, bike rides and other activities to launch the campaign. See also: https://www.facebook.com/panasiapacific and http://www.panap.net/campaigns/women-assert-our-rights

  1. Wildaf – Rural women economic empowerment, a step towards full citizenship

8th March has an impact on the population of Agotové and its surroundings, as adopted strategies to reduce economic inequalities between men / women aimed to show people the benefits of economic empowerment of women in the family and how they can affect the development of local communities. Besides official speeches, there was a brief introductory speech to outline the project, followed by a sketch where actresses played women farmers, aimed to highlight the beneficiaries of the project. This was compounded by a debate in local language following the sketch. As many men as there were women were at the celebration, aiming to inform the population more widely of the aim and value of the project.

  1. EASSI– A project aimed to engage men in ending sexual & gender based Violence EASSI. 150 Men and women from 6 sub-counties will participate in the celebrations, marching with banners & placards and wearing clothing bearing SGBV messages to create awareness and solicit support from potential valuable stakeholders who will be present at the event. See also: www.eassi.org
  2. Womankind Worldwide: 8th March is Womankind Worldwide’s anniversary. An interactive map and timeline were launched telling the story of its over 2 decades of pushing for women’s rights across the world. Supported by the FLOW, campaign action was launched with partner organisations across Africa and Asia, aided by supporters in the UK and Europe. The then UK Secretary of State Justine Greening was called upon to take strong, decisive action to push for goal on women’s rights and gender equality, and stop at nothing until leaders across the world also agreed to the aims. Nearly 3,000 people signed the petition – www.change.org/yestogendergoal,and the campaign was promoted with the hashtag #YesToGenderGoal. See also: www.womankind.org

In no particular order, here are some of the other contributions to the March programmes by FLOW grantees that deserve a honourable mention:

Gender at Work launched their blog as part of our overall campaign. Specifically, they featured a post which captures what this date means to some of the G@W associates around the world. The idea is to reflect on what this day means to people from different contexts and workplaces all over the world.

Nobel Womens Initiative – This group of local, national and international organisations, all based in Ottawa are hosting their own International Women’s Day celebration, showcasing the work of feminist organisations, and honouring relentless advocates for gender equality through the Femmy Awards. There was also dancing, videos, sketches, a fair and an awards show, with more than 300 people in attendance. See also: http://iwdottawa.wordpress.com/about/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Womens-Day-Ottawa/152680151510632

Puntos – In El Salvador, Las Dignas organised a week of activism, reflection, culture and art to celebrate International Women’s Day in March. During the week over 400 women in La Paz, Zona Norte de Usulután and San Salvador, participated in a number of public actions, workshops, created a participative art piece entitled “Historias de Mujeres” (Stories of Women) and came to a broad collective agreement regarding women’s rights in the then ongoing election in El Salvador. A mini-campaign was also launched through the radio programme DKY FM, directed to encourage young men and women to take part. See also: http://www.puntos.org.ni

Vital Voices – In March, Vital Voices hosted Global Mentoring Walks around the world to mark International Woman’s Day. Members of FLOWs Global Leadership Network, included members from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, served as flag bearers, gathering established and emerging women leaders to take part, aiming to form long-lasting mentoring relationships. With 45 walks across 40 countries, more than 4000 women shared knowledge, exchanged ideas on a range of issues such as education, access to justice and economic development and empowerment. The walks were chronicled on Twitter with the hashtags #MentoringWalk and #IWD, with potential interest registered at http://www.vitalvoices.org/global-initiatives/mentoring-walk

Kvinna till Kvinna – The Lovebombing campaign! Kvinna till Kvinna was a campaigned aimed at encouraging people who met at the various March events to send love and support to women’s rights activists through our Lovebombing campaign! Very simple, activists just put themselves in frames provided by over attendees and had their picture taken! The pictures were then sent to activists that we work with in conflict-ridden and troubled regions, aiming to inspire them to keep up their vital work pushing for women’s rights in their areas. See also: http://kvinnatillkvinna.se/

ROFAF: Planned with the aim of having a valuable online discussion on the broad topic “What future for Women’s Rights after 2015?”, topics included ‘the Future of Women’s Rights after 2015’ and what IWD celebrations were to come in future years. The e-discussion created an open space for debate around these two major topics, and carried forward the discussions’ outcomes and recommendations in our advocacy work around the post 2015 development agenda. The discussion will be hosted at:http://8mars2014.rofaf.org/

Karama supported activities by ACT and Al Shehab in Egypt for March 8, and AWO in Jordan moderated. ACT in Egypt was supported by Karama in a Knock on Doors Campaign called “NO to Harassment” on International Women’s Day. The aim of the campaign is to raise public awareness of the sexual violence and harassment against girls and women in Egypt, with a target of 1000 households in 5 governorates. The Al Shehab Institution for Comprehensive Development was also supported by Karama in holding a parade and awareness-raising event on March 8 for the residents of Ezbet Al Haggana in Cairo. See also: http://www.el-karama.org/

Action Aid Activities in Ghana were held under the theme of ‘Inspiring change’. The aim was to release the burden of women’s unpaid care work at the national, regional and District levels, leaving women to seek their own economic empowerment and independence. In Rwanda, AAR supported female led smallholder farms with 2,500 valuable banana plants and organic fertilisers. Kibilizi community, district and sector leaders, AAR staff, partners and collectives of female farmer groups met at site to dig holes to plant the crops, highlighting the need for communal action. See also www.actionaid.org/ghana and- http://www.actionaid.org/Rwanda

JASS – No Democracy without Women. FAMM-Indonesia (Indonesian Young Women Activist Forum) took International Women’s Day as an opportunity to call on all Indonesian women, especially young women, to politically engage in elections held in the following months. They aimed to do this by leading with a workshop, gathering students and young activists from across 4 provinces of Indonesia. See also: https://www.justassociates.org/en/article/young-indonesian-activists-organize-defend-democratic-freedoms

WIEGO – This organisation shared inspirational stories in a variety of formats, showing improvements in their lives and livelihoods because of the action our FLOW partners. See http://wiego.org/wee/fair-trade and http://www.wfto.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1997&Itemid=1

Gender Links- Gender Links and its partners in the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance celebrated IWD with a strategy meeting on how best to find and showcase evidence of local initiatives to hold governments to account. See also: http://www.genderlinks.org.za/page/gender-summit

Latin-American Consortium for Gender Equality , Cotidiano Mujer– This initiative collected signatures supporting equal political representation for women and towards a new laws in enforce equal representation. The group gathered at the National Theatre atrium to start the event. The initial goal was 5,000 signatures, to be presented to the government in the following June.

APC – The topic of the International Women’s Day 2014 was inspiring change and ACORD used the whole month of March 2014, to promote changes that would benefit African women and girls at the grassroots level. Women’s voices collected in 13 countries were presented and a report was officially launched in the UN Headquarters in New York on the 17th. See: http://www.acordinternational.org/news/international-womens-day-inspiring-change/

 

 

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