29th January 2015

Hello listeners. This post is by way of a  guest post from Francis Barrone about International Women’s Day and how it is marked here in Swindon. You can read more about the movement itself on the IWD website here: http://www.internationalwomensday.com Follow @womensday on Twitter using #womensday

Frances and Karen are looking for volunteers so if you’d like to get involved then get in touch! Contact details at the bottom of the post.

“International Women’s Day Swindon 2015

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8th March. This year we will hold the event on Saturday 7th March at Central Library from 10am until 4pm. In addition to Central Library we will encourage you to visit a pop up arts and culture café at the Post Modern Gallery – affectionately known as the Pomo.

International Women’s Day, (IWD for short) has been running for a number of years in Swindon and originally started in the Broadgreen area due to its diverse multi-cultural population.  The event is growing year on year and is supported by various charitable, philanthropic, business, arts, community, voluntary and support agencies including Swindon Borough Council. Last year the event was organised by Rosa Matheson, a local author and charity fundraiser from Highworth.

 The planning of this year’s event was kick-started at a meeting in early January. Rosa requested volunteers to take on the further planning and coordination of the event in her place due to writing and charity commitments, these will take her away from the country on the day of the celebrations.

 Rosa handed over the coordination of the event to the two who offered to take on this task, namely Karen Roswell and myself, Frances Barrone. Karen and I met only once before, a year ago at the previous year’s planning meeting but I knew I wanted to work with her and it seems we are united in raising the notion of sisterhood.

The theme last year “Respect not Violence” helped to raise the profile of men’s voices in saying no to violence in support of Women’s Aid. This year the theme is Equality for Women is Equality for All. According to some world leaders equality is deemed to be the most defining challenge of our time. Many believe that women who support other women have a far- reaching influence in shaping world ideologies and how we live for the betterment of all and also affect how we care for our planet.

 International Women’s Day is intended to be a celebration of all that is great about women in the attempt to empower, inform and inspire other women who may not have the same access, choices, rights or information that many of us enjoy. It is very much a multi-cultural fun family day out which doesn’t exclude men but puts women very much at the forefront and in the driving seat on the day. It will be entertaining, informative, interesting, joyful friendly, healthy and fun for all who attend. It will also provide opportunities for women who want to expand their own sense of belonging, ambition, wellbeing and creativity.

An event like this helps us to see the richness of Swindon’s culture, heritage and pioneering spirit and puts us on the map as somewhere that is a great place to live, love and develop.

My hope is that as many women as possible from all walks of life will join in the celebrations on the day. We aim to have a true representation of all Swindon women and invite you all to participate either in the free talks and workshops, exhibits and stalls or to simply enjoy refreshments in the arts and culture café or library.

The programme is shaping up nicely and includes talks, poetry, performances, crafts, free health and business advice and even a little bit of pampering. We hope that as many women as possible will wear traditional clothing. Guests will also include notable professional, business and community leaders . 

To make the day an amazing success we could also use about 20 volunteers for 2 hours starting at 8 – 10 am, 10am – 12noon, 12noon – 2pm and 2pm – 4pm.

Please visit share and like International Women’s Day Swindon Facebook page and keep checking in to see updates and the programme for the event. Feel free to get in touch with us by email: iwdswindon@gmail.com or call Frances Barrone on 07731 693082 or Karen Rosswell on 07545 243 246.”

Some photographs of IWD Swindon 2014: