Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day!

In the lead-up to today, may have been highlighting the plight of women around the world – who don’t have access to education or resources, who are abused, who are discriminated against, whose gender makes them vulnerable – if you’ve spent time on the blog, you probably are aware of some of this. Today provides a spotlight on these important issues and it’s an honour to be a part of it.

However, when we are ‘anti’ something, we need to be ‘pro’ something else. When we want something to end, we need to think about what we would like to begin. As such, I am spending the day celebrating women I know and have been impacted by, who are making a difference, living freely, daring to be and do with no fear.

And I don’t need to look too far for people to celebrate. Yesterday, I got to work with AMAZING women who inspired me during the day, and who inspire me in life. So I’m going to focus on yesterday‘s ‘team’!

Abi is a part of STOP THE TRAFFIK South Belfast. She’s a second year anthropology student and is deeply passionate and strong. She is a giving person. She gave her day yesterday to help out – she was repping No More Traffik at the Inspire Conference in the morning, and then organising and hosting an AMAZING wardrobe swap (more on that later)…all while being under extreme pressure to get her research proposal finished! Abi is an inspiring woman.

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Chrysallis is a local group of 4 women with 9-5 day jobs who get together and perform for the good of others. Last night, along with Karen’s excellent organisational help, they performed the Vagina Monologues – a collection of hilarious and heartbreaking stories about women, violence against women, and stories of overcoming it. The ladies very kindly chose to donate the profits they made last night to No More Traffik.

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Claire is an incredibly brave woman who is wise in how she fights injustice, and is making a real difference in the local and global scenes. She is involved in research, education and a lot of important conversations which she isn’t afraid to stir. She attended an event on behalf of No More Traffik last night: a performance of DIABLO, a play on human trafficking which was attended by 270 people (and which was written by another hero of mine, Patricia Downey – you’ve heard about her before!) She spoke to close the evening, and had great conversations with those there – people who will see signs of trafficking and who now know what to do. Claire is an inspiring woman.

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Amy is a part of STOP THE TRAFFIK Lisburn. She is a fashion and textiles student, and she rocks the most amazing outfits. She organised the Wardrobe Swap last night – and the event was incredible. Amy travelled last year and came across stories of people who were vulnerable: and she is now using her time and talents to help them. The Wardrobe Swap launched a very important campaign that has the potential to change the world. Check out the tickets she MADE for the evening – above and beyond the call of duty, attention to the big and the little, all because she cares. Amy is an inspiring woman.

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Emma is No More Traffik intern who is also studying. She arrived at the Wardrobe Swap and effortlessly worked her way around the rest of the team, having conversations that make people feel like they mean something. Emma dares – she pushes herself and is open in a way that is a model for me. I had a ‘moment’ a couple of weeks ago when she sat for an hour with a work placement student who was visiting NMT: Emma is SO knowledgable about the topic we work on, and gives her energy to addressing it effectively. Emma is an inspiring woman.

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Aoife is a part of STOP THE TRAFFIK South Belfast. She is a med student who appeared on the scene last year – she had heard about human trafficking, considered what was in her hands, and then just got stuck in. She is SO good at engaging others in addressing injustice, and has a brilliant mind: she isn’t afraid of tackling big issues, and is a great trouble-shooter. Aoife is an inspiring woman.

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Cheryl is on the board of No More Traffik. She works a 9-5 job and does that so well, as well as giving so much of her time to keeping No More Traffik moving. Something about Cheryl that always makes me laugh is when she says she has just ‘rustled’ something up in a rush – this will always result in a several-page print-out with logos, cool fonts and thoroughly thought-out text. When she does something, she does it well. Cheryl gave her Friday night to represent No More Traffik at the Wardrobe Swap last night. Cheryl is an inspiring woman.

Giving, daring, brave, caring, knowledgable, articulate, creative, ambitious, strong, funny, open, talented. Inspiring women.

There are many others out there – who inspires you?

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