International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th– this date has been recognised since the early 20th Century. Events, marches and festivals are held internationally celebrating and recognising women’s equality. The United Nation official theme this year is “Be Bold for Change”. It is aimed at increasing female representation in the workplace to 50%.
Since 1969 Dundee International Women’s Centre addresses the needs of women by providing a space for women to socialise, learn and come together. This year DIWC celebrated International Women’s Day and Dundee Women’s Festival with the theme “Herstory and Heritage.”
An exhibition was put together by English for Life Class which explored the native cultures of women and their interpretations of the Scottish culture.
The centre also hosted sewing classes and a challenging Henna workshop. There were Arabic cooking classes and Indian banquet which promised a mastery of Indian cuisine (and some recipe cards if you needed more practice).
The attendees of the classes believe that women should be appreciated everyday. Workshops organised in the centre were helpful as it enabled social integration in a relaxed environment. This can lead to the empowerment of women and help improve mental health and increase in self-confidence.
One of the workshop attendees said “this has been a wonderful experience, I feel more confident and happy.”
DIWC focuses on the black and ethnic minority population of Dundee. Recently, we have been celebrating our staff, learners and volunteers as part of our ‘Women of Dundee’ campaign. This gives women the opportunity to share their experiences, stories and journeys in life.
These stories do not shy away from the difficulties women face. They talk about the isolation they face in their daily life and the reality of their experiences.
DIWC’s International Women’s Week highlighted the work which we do every day. This week social media and magazines are filled with articles respecting the achievements of great women past and present: Parks, Pankhurst, Yousafzai, Curie.
On behalf of DIWC, as part of International Women’s Week we would like to celebrate our great women. This week was dedicated to you. International Women’s Day was about you; you our learners, staff, and volunteers.
Let us keep celebrating each other and ourselves.