Flyer design by Shanice, Female Hackney
What International Women’s Day means for Female Hackney
International Women’s Day is a global event. It means a lot of things to a lot of people. We all probably have stories of special women in our life that have fought and won battles, carried a new generation into the future and been influential figures in our lives and communities. We could all speak about these points of connections that bring us together as women on a global scale. However, it’s important to come down to the ground and speak on why this day is so important to our lives in Female Hackney.
This is the very first International Women’s Day for Female Hackney. The Sisterhood is relatively new, and we are still finding our feet. What I can say is that in the short time we have known each other we have created a bond and a support system that will last long into the future.
The way at Female Hackney started was as individuals. We all recognised that whilst everyone understood to some degree that we women faced different struggles and pressures from men, however, most of us felt this wasn’t being taken as seriously as it should until Female Hackney. Us women at Hackney CVS saw the faces of women in the social justice campaigns, mental health struggles, general issues of housing, domestic violence, homelessness, the criminal justice system and so on. We saw that nothing was being done to address these experiences as men were often taking centre stage in these conversations. The Sisterhood started because there was a need for it. I guess we all needed to feel that we were being listened to and that the women in the wider community were being included.
Female Hackney began, not necessarily as a political statement but more as a space for us women to get together and speak on what was important to us. As the weeks went on the group grew stronger and we realised that we were creating a friendship and a strong bond. Not only were we speaking on female issues, but we were connecting these issues to other issues of race and class. Our female branding was completely informed by our experiences as Black and mixed women and from our struggles of being economically disadvantaged.
This ‘realness’ that we have is unmatched in our experiences and we have supported each other through very dark times. Whilst we all had our own image of what this ‘girl power’ would look like, I don’t think anything truly realised how much we needed it.
What International Women’s Day means to Female Hackney is the start of a journey. The beginning of growth and a collection of women who are ready to wipe the tears and carry each other through. In a year’s time we want to look back on our greatness and be a shining example of what can be achieved when women come together.