‘I am a woman
Who has almost forgotten who I am
But know exactly who I want to be
Who is fed up of defending
My right to exist’

Writes one of our Community Reporters in her poem ‘I am a woman’: 
 

8 March was International Women's Day and this year's theme is Inspiring change. It is important for all of us to hear the stories of people who put themselves out there to change their communities so we thought we would shine a spotlight on three women who are doing this as part to coincide with the IWD message.
 

Di is a Community Reporter and an inspirational woman from Norwich. Fed up with the lack of representation of gay people as sports people and supporters she decided to make a difference. As part of her Community Reporter training Di produced a short animated film about her aim to set up a gay supporters club at Norwich FC. She started with a small set of followers which grew and through her hard work she now has the support of Delia Smith and Amal Fashanu, the niece of Norwich City FC legend Justin Fashanu - the only top level footballer to come out as gay while still playing. Read Di’s story on the inspirational women she has met in this male dominated culture: 

Suzanne was diagnosed with cancer whilst pregnant. Suzanne decided to change her story and help others who are experiencing the same by campaigning for change. Read her story and how her journey took her to meet the Prime Minister at No.10 to discuss new policies on Cervical Screening and raising cervical awareness. 

On a more personal level inspiring women can change and strengthen a family unit even when faced with the worse possible news. Dawn as well as documenting her adventures as a volunteer Street Pastor writes about her experiences as a daughter coping with her mother’s illness in Diary of a daughter: 

Domestic violence

There are still changes to be made. A recent survey, by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights discovered the shocking fact that around a third of all women in the EU have experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-26444655

There are places, charities and communities that are trying to make a difference though and help those suffering to make new lives. Hear the stories of women at Manchester Women’s Aid who share their experiences - the fear and lack of confidence they experienced and the new hopes they have for the future. It’s a powerful film that hears the voices of a group of people not normally heard. 

In the press

Other things that have been highlighted in the press to coincide with International Women’s Day are:

What does academic success means to women? The University of Cambridge is attempting, through a series of interviews, to find out:
www.theguardian.com/science/occams-corner/2014/mar/07/international-womens-day-meaning-academic-success-cambridge-university

Google doodle team flummoxed by women:
www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10682377/Google-doodle-International-Womens-Day-flummoxes-doodlers-who-opt-for-27-female-chromosomes.html

And do we need International Women’s Day?: 
www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/mar/06/international-womens-day  

‘DONT try and define me

Cause you will be surprised
I am not who you think I am
I'm just ME
I am a woman’

Ends our poet.

International Women’s Day events

Events happened across the world for International Women’s Day and week. Listen to Myrtle, Charlotte and Saima's inspirational stories from an International Women's Day event in Manchester. Do you have others you could add?  

Next month… we will be featuring young people – do you have a story to tell? Upload it to the site and tag it ‘young people’.

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