Project Description

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8th March each year. This celebration is to recognize the economic, cultural and political achievements women have made as well as help to make further steps towards women’s equality.

For more information on International Women’s Day, click HERE

What we did in 2021…

To mark International Women’s day last year we helped to organise a fantastic day of online activities on the 8th March. Over 100 women attended from all corners of Cumbria.

The event was developed and delivered by the new Cumbrian International Women’s Network, which currently comprises of the Cumbria Development Education Centre, Furness Multi-Cultural Community Forum & Youth Club, Carlisle One World Centre, Carlisle Refugee Action Group and Multicultural Cumbria.

The activities varied from a welcoming Coffee Morning to interactive African and Bollywood Dance Carousels and yoga classes, a Thai cookery demonstration, storytelling for children, a Singing Tree art workshop and an open mic style ‘Ladies night in’ featuring local poets and artists, and the first screening of a new short film, Connected by Cultures, to celebrate the contribution of women from around the world living in the county.

Wellness packs were sent out to participants with tea, coffee, cookies or baklava, soap, notebooks and handmade scrubs. Women also made cards for those who are more isolated or have recently arrived in the county through Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.) packs that were also sent out by the organisers. Packs of cooking ingredients and art materials were sent to those taking part in the related workshops.

Between 18 and 52 women and children from over 20 different nationalities were in attendance on the 8 different Zoom sessions, which started at 10am. The sessions finished at 9pm, with an evening of poetry readings and a chance for some of the women who had attended the day to leave feedback.

Comments included:

Hearing people’s stories and experiences, hearing their poems and songs. I felt connected

Really lovely to be with women from all sorts of cultural backgrounds celebrating IWD together

Loved the enthusiasm of host and attendees

I would love more cooking groups

The day was used to launch The Cumbrian International Women’s Network, who hope that this will be the first of many cross-county collaborations. Some of the main elements of the day will have follow up events such as the cooking demonstrations and the art workshops. It’s a really exciting project for all those taking part and has already led to new relationships and collaborations between women from all backgrounds living in Cumbria.

Saj Ghafoor, chief executive officer of Multicultural Cumbria said: “Women have an innate sense of togetherness to connect, care and share. Cumbria International Women’s Network is a result of very committed and hardworking women. By working together and pooling skill sets, 2021 International Women’s Day on March 8 will be celebrating all women.”

The day was funded by a National Lottery grant to a group of organisations in Cumbria that support black people, brown people and members of minority ethnic groups that have been particularly affected by the COVID Pandemic. The Same Storm Different Boats project is co-ordinated by Cumbria Development Education Centre.