Inspiring Change on International Women's Day

6th March 2014

International Women’s Day is fast approaching and this year’s theme is Inspiring Change. We spoke to Anna, a returned volunteer who has been raising awareness of women’s rights following her return from programme.

Raleigh’s projects improve the livelihoods of rural communities and as part of this, work to change attitudes and behaviours which reinforce gender inequality. Since returning from her ICS placement in India, Anna has been actively raising awareness of women’s rights. She set up an evening event and invited friends, colleagues and encouraged guests to bring along any friends or relatives who would like to attend.

“I began by talking about my experiences in India, in which I focused particularly on my role in helping to set up a Women’s Self Help Group in Mangamvayal, the village where I was staying. 

“I emphasised my experiences of seeing first-hand the important and dutiful role that women play in the community and showed photographs of the SHG group and of the wonderful women who I became friends with during my stay in their village.”

Following this introductory talk, Anna screened the documentary 'Sola Mamas' which encouraged lots of discussion about poverty and the important role that women can play in catalyzing social change.

“I chose this particular film because I felt the characters in the film really captured the struggles faced by so many women in the world and thought it gave a clear example of the power of education in stimulating social change. When I first watched the film I could relate the struggles faced by the women in the film with the women I had met in Mangamvayal.  

One member of the audience expressed how she felt after the event: “The women in the video were so inspiring! It made me really value the opportunities that I’ve had in life such as university and freedom to do, meet, say what I want to.”
Anna ended the evening by facilitating a discussion around these issues and encouraged her audience to look into current women’s rights campaigns and consider signing a petition to lobby the government to lead the way in supporting and protecting the work of Women’s human rights.

Raising awareness and inspiring others to take positive social action is the most effective way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Check out our ideas for how you can make a difference on our awareness day page and tell us about your plans: 

More information on International Women's Day can be found on the official site