In Honour of Women on International Women’s Day

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Saturday 1377  – 8.03.2014

Many of you, who have been following this blog for a while, will remember that last year , on International Women’s Day,  I attended the Million Women Rise march in London and wrote about it here  ( warning – one of the photos is difficult to view) 

I was not able to attend this year but I did not want to let the day pass without writing about it so this afternoon I took myself off to a large supermarket car park and stalked  randomly selected a diverse range of women of all ages and ethnicity to photograph for this post.  It was rather daunting approaching complete strangers and a few were not best pleased !!

I’m delighted to say that the lovely women you see above said yes and I would like to sincerely thank them for being so utterly agreeable and kind to this stranger.

I chose these women to represent their sisters throughout the world who are living in very different circumstances.  Some may, and do, ask why do we need a day specifically for women and the answer is because women are still a very long way from being equal in this world and we all need to keep drawing attention to this until it’s no longer necessary.

A few facts :-

  • According to the World Health Organisation, 35.6% of women worldwide, shockingly more than a third, will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime.
  • According to the Office of National statistics here in the UK approx 85000 women in England and Wales are raped every year with over 400,000 being sexually assaulted. More shocking statistics, thought to be underestimated too.
  • Women do 66% of the worlds work and produce 50% of the world’s food but get only 10% of overall income and own 1% of property.
  • Women hold less than 19% of parliamentary seats worldwide with just 16 of the 188 world’s elected leaders being female.

Hardly seems right for 51%  of the world’s population does it? 

So this is why we have an International Women’s day and we don’t have an International Men’s day. 49% of the world’s population, namely men, have the other 364 days already it seems.  

Now this post is not about knocking men ( I LOVE men ! ) it’s about loving women. More importantly it’s about encouraging men to respect women and it’s especially about encouraging both men and women to teach their sons to respect women and their daughters that they absolutely deserve this respect. 

Teaching  both boys and girls that women are equals in this world is the most important message I want to get across because, without that, women will continue to be treated as second class citizens and that clearly is the most terrible injustice and has to stop.

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Thanks again to the wonderful women in the photos above and to all of you for reading. As ever I welcome your thoughts .

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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100 Saturdays have gone – 1400 to go !

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Saturday 1400  – 29.09.2013.

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

Oh Lordie !!!!!

It’s been a funny old day today. A bit of a roller coaster, not particularly helped by the realisation that 100 of my last Saturdays are now gone, never to be seen again.. 😦

The day started with me inexplicably feeling down in the dumps and rather sorry for myself. I was out cycling ans was feeling lonely,  those of you who live on your own probably recognise that this happens from time to time,  and nothing just felt quite right.

Job is dragging me down, decorating long, long overdue, curtains need hanging, I had emails to answer, letters to write, paperwork to sort out, unpacking to finish, photo competitions to edit photos for, gardening to do; to say nothing of housework and laundry!

The disadvantage of living on your own is that you HAVE to do everything and I don’t always feel like it. Do any of you singletons out there recognise this?

Of course there is the upside that you can always do what you want when you want to, well once you’ve done all those things!  The upshot is that I tend to procrastinate and spend WAY too much time on this damn computer and internet reading interesting stuff but not doing stuff. Recognise this too??

I’m not really hard done by. I live a pretty good life but it’s a singleton’s life and for someone who likes to share experiences, as well as the chores!, that doesn’t really suit me, but I am where I am and have to get on with it.. Now I suspect there are some of my readers, who are not in very satisfactory relationships, who will say that coupledom is not all it’s cracked up to be and indeed I know that to be the case. 

My day continued with an evening visit from a friend, we walked a bit, ate a bit, chatted a bit and laughed a bit.  It was all good 🙂

Sadly the day ended with news that a family member is having a hard time and I send my love and support to that person, they know who they are.

The upshot of my thinking is that happiness comes from within yourself, not from external factors, and we can only ever really depend on ourselves . I was reminded of this quote by Brian L Weiss  –

“Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.” 

What always makes me feel better is helping people who are in a less fortunate position than myself because it makes me more appreciative of my good fortune to be born in a country where I have comparative freedom and some security, or at least I feel I do but that may be an illusion! I was reminded of this when I read this post http://elenacaravela.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/cards-for-kiva/  by my dear blogging friend Elena Caravela. I can commend her blog with its wonderful paintings. She’s VERY talented and lovely with it. 

Kiva is a wonderful organisation here’s a little quote from their website –

Margarita“We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world” and “Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of your loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which we call Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field.”

I have known about Kiva for some time but not acted on that knowledge but thanks to Elena’s reminder I have now become a Kiva lender. 

If you want to know more and I hope you will, take a look here http://www.kiva.org/about and here http://www.kiva.org/about/how 

Along with 51 other lenders my first loan has gone to Margarita who is pictured on this post.  She lives in Peru and this is her 4th loan, the other 3 being already repaid and she will use the money to buy a small parcel of land to expand her cocoa bean crop. You can read more about her here.  http://www.kiva.org/lend/610223  

What better way to use $25 dollars which is about £16 than to give someone a hand-up rather than a hand-out. It does my soul good and helps me as much as it helps her. 

kiva_121x64Of course in a just world this should not be necessary but I’m not going to hang around waiting for a just world to be created but rather be the change I want to see in the world.

Care to join me ?

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Oh, before I go  here’s a spamming tale. A few weeks ago I wrote about having some nasal surgery and in my spam folder today I found a comment which said “Hey Helen, how are you now? your story is so good and giving inspiration to others. Really you have passed a huge exam of your life. Thanks for sharing your story.” I thought Awwww that’s nice and was about to move it from the spam folder but then noticed the link which, yes you’ve guessed it,  was for a self-confessed “Rhinoplasty Master”  and advertising Septoplasty which is what I had done. Hmmmm it’s going into my junk folder !

Saturday girl signing off, see you very soon. maybe?

You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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