8th March: International Women’s Day – let’s make it happen!

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Photo: Craig Maclean

by Sandra Webster, Katie Bonnar, Hollie Cameron, Jenni Gunn and Christine McVicar ‘Make it happen’ is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. The day we celebrate the uniqueness we offer the world and celebrate our tenacity in difficult times. It is a time to look to the past and the brave women such as Rosa Luxemburg, Mary Barbour, the suffragettes who campaigned for women’s rights. They offer us some much needed support and courage in our day to day struggles and our desire to create a more equal society. 

Their voices from the past call out to us that we can make it happen. We also remember the struggles of women across the globe and we are mindful of the women of Greece who have had to cope with the impact of austerity on their own and loved ones lives.

Austerity kills. In Greece, a 56 year old quadriplegic woman died when her power supply was cut off by her energy supplier due to a debt. Her family are now engaged in a legal battle for justice.

Many women have also taken their own life. According to the BMJ Open there was a 35.8 per cent increase in the number of women who committed suicide. The most vulnerable are those most affected.

A local Greek charity, SOS Children villages saw a 45 per cent increase in single parent’s asking for support. Dr Makon of Kalmata General Hospital observed a 39.2 per cent increase in women’s heart attacks. The cause? There was no access to the medication they needed.

Greek women in these dark times have had to make it happen. They have created creches, offered free medical care taken up the role of the state. They were also front and central in Syriza.

IWD 2015 celebrates the power and tenacity of women who make a difference wherever they live. They change the world in local communities and are everyday heroines who light the path as amazing women always have and always will.

“Go home and sit still”. This is what Elsie Inglis was told when she offered to set up a hundred bed hospital during WW1. She went on and set up hospitals in Serbia and The Russian Front. What would have happened if she had gone home and sat still?

In Glasgow, the Women’s Library have been organising workshops around the suffragettes and will be marching on 7 March at 2pm from the library to Glasgow Green, so get involved. To all the amazing women we know, we applaud you for all you do.

Women in our party have used their voices to campaign at Faslane, to support Women For Independence, to always struggle for our voices to be heard. We thank you all and offer our support to all women who in their day to day struggles, or as part of wider campaigning help make our world a better place to live in.

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