Friday, 8 March 2019

International Women's Day

International Women's Day is here again, time to hear some idiot say
'When is International Men's Day then, eh?' (November 19th incidentally), joking aside this is an opportunity for Women's rights to be examined, brought under the spotlight and for people to remember that the battle for equality still continues.

This time last year I made a wall hanging to raise awareness.  Last year's theme was 'Push for Progress'.

Over the next few months the theme weighed on my mind.  What had pushed for progress?  Certainly not politicians or industry, the Equal Pay Act is 9 years older than me and I'm nearly 40 and yet there is still a gender pay gap.  For me the answer is in the way you're reading this now - the Internet.
What else has given people ways to meet, ways to rebel, ways to protest whilst remaining anonymous.  The phrase keyboard warrior is often used and that fascinated me.  
In the wake of  #metoo this was a way for Women to stand say 'that also happened to me and I was sad and internalised it but now I see how many others it's happened to I'm angry and I want change'.
Gradually the idea of my quilt was born.  I entered it into the Festival of Quilts 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham.

I was proud that people stopped to read what it was about, why I'd made it.  I stood in front and my husband took a photo of life imitating art.

Since that day I've started my own business Fine City Quilting and a sewing group for parents and carers called Sew Tired.  I remember many years ago writing my dissertation on 'The Rise of Entrepreneurial Women', and discussing the many issues that have contributed to the rise such as childcare,  the glass ceiling and gender pay gap.  In 2019 the theme for today is #BalanceForBetter, so lets make 2019 the year we keep an eye out for discrimination, speak out when we see it but also celebrate achievements.

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