International Women’s Day – Make it Happen!

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Anna Munro was a Scottish suffragette who was a founder of the Women’s Freedom League. In 1912 she walked from Edinburgh to London to protest because women were not allowed to vote for Members of Parliament.

As a feminist, I support International Women’s Day (IWD) as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. And as a writer, I support fellow writers, particularly Scottish women who are making their voice heard through fiction.

 

download (1)So when I saw that my pal, Clare Archibald, was involved in organising a book event on IWD called, ‘Cream Tea, Gin & Corsets it sounded like the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I don’t drink tea or gin and I’ve never worn a corset but the lure for me was three things:

 

  1. The book reading was by Lucy Ribchester
  2. The event was in Burntisland
  3. It was associated with the Women for Independence(WFI) Coastal Fife group (but was open to all women whether they’d voted Yes, No or who couldn’t care less about independence).

I’ll explain why these 3 factors were a winning combo for me…

  1. Lucy has recently been shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award in addition to huge praise for her debut novel, The Hourglass Factory which explores the suffragette history within a fictional setting. (You can read a review of the novel on one of my favourite blogs, The Writes of Woman).
  2. When I was wee, a day trip to the seaside had us heading to the Silver Sands at Aberdour (Lucy’s hometown) for a picnic on the beach then on to Burntisland for a shot on the shows so it was a great excuse to revisit a childhood haunt.
  3. I was proud to vote Yes in last year’s Scottish referendum and I live in hope that the work of groups such as WFI can make the dream become reality.

So you can understand why I was keen to spend IWD at an event that brought together women of all voting histories and futures in celebration of female achievement and possibility.

I don’t live as near to the Fife coast as I did when I was a child so it took me over an hour to get to Burntisland but it was well worth the time and effort. At my table, the plate of scones was shared between three lovely women – Clare’s mum, her neighbour and a woman who had many connections to my own hometown – we could’ve talked for hours! This year’s IWD theme is ‘Make it Happen’ and being there to hear about how women in Scotland helped change the course of politics and society made me feel very privileged indeed.

Did you Make it Happen and celebrate IWD this year?

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