As the month which marked the centenary of British women’s suffrage comes to an end, we at Xenia are looking forward to continuing the celebration of women’s achievement and the fight to bring equality to all women this International Women’s Day, on Thursday 8th March. As an organisation founded on the principles of women’s empowerment, Xenia will be taking part in a range of events throughout March to campaign for the rights of migrant women and recognise the incredible accomplishments of women in Hackney.

Two weeks ago, we held a session themed around the Women’s Strike, in which the participants discussed all things to do with women and work. The Women’s Strike is about refusing all the work that women do – whether paid work in offices and factories, or unpaid domestic labour in homes and communities. We talked about the types of jobs that women and men are traditionally expected to hold, with many agreeing that women are often thought to be most suited to caring or education roles. This led us on to talk about all the other jobs that many women at Xenia have held themselves as mothers; teachers and tutors for their children, cleaners of their homes, childminders for their grandchildren, cooks for their loved ones, and organisers of family schedules and events. Whilst most of the women agreed that they enjoyed some of this work, it was interesting for us all to think about the fact that it is possible to pay someone else to do all of these jobs for us and how impossible everyday life would be if we were to stop doing even one of these vital jobs.

We are also looking forward to visiting the new exhibition at the Hackney Museum this month, called Making Her Mark: 100 Years of Women’s Activism in Hackney. The exhibition celebrates the incredible achievements of women in Hackney, whose activism made a difference within the borough and beyond. We will use this exhibition as a way to spark a discussion about women’s activism and as inspiration to us all, that women have the power to make their own mark in history whoever they are and wherever they come from.

As mentioned in our previous blog post, Xenia is also supporting the #AllWomenCount lobby and will be attending the event in parliament on International Women’s Day. During the event we will hear stories from refugee and migrant women, and call on the government alongside supportive MPs to ensure the safety, dignity and liberty of all migrant and refugee women.

Keep an eye out on our website and social media to stay updated with all these exciting events, and let us know how you will be celebrating International Women’s Day this year.

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