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An Opportunity To Share Diverse Stories - International Women's Day

06/03/2017 12:18
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all women everywhere

I am looking at my diary for the week commencing 6th March; it is one of the busiest of the year for me. I prepare for it like I would an endurance race, ensuring them I am at my physical and psychological best. I know that while being exciting, inspiring and fun, it will take every ounce of my energy. Why? Because my work is women's empowerment, it's International Women's Day on the 8th March, and this is a week I am most in demand to empower through talks, training and in the media.

The theme for this years International Women's Day is #BeBoldForChange, we are encouraged to take ground-breaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women. The International Women's Day website encourages each one of us - women, men and non-binary people to join forces - to lead within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

What I love about International Women's Day events is the diversity of women I meet. Women from different social backgrounds, ages, ethnicity, sexual orientation come together in a way that's rare.

You may be familiar with the term, Intersectionality first coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. The theory of how different types of discrimination interact.

As a black straight woman, from a working class background in Britain, my story may be very different to that of another woman who has not had to experience the same forms of discrimination. All stories are valid, illuminate our experience and highlight the diversity within diversity.

During this week, I am: Delivering training in Power Politics to a group of Women in a Corporate organisation, Coaching Women, Running a teen girls empowerment conference. I am Speaking: on How to be a Woman of influence for Generation Success, Knowing Your Purpose at WOW Southbank and How To Make things Happen, Your Way for CostaWomen, I am attending events at the House of Commons and the Commonwealth. I know that the women I meet will inspire me and I will be careful not to privilege certain voices.

So I have a call to action for those who really want to #BeBoldForChange

1. If you are running an event, ensure you allow diverse stories to be told
2. If you are attending an event, talk to the woman in the room who clearly has a different story to yours
3. Share your story of womanhood with a family member, through writing, speaking or however you can

My #BeBoldForChange action is to ensure that Women are as Inclusive with each other, as we want the wider world to be. Happy International Women's Day!

HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today

Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com

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