International Women’s Day

On Thursday the Women’s Centre is hosting an International Women’s Day event which is open to all the ladies in the community. There will be lots of activities for you to take part in and enjoy. If you haven’t been to the centre then this is a great chance to come along and see what we do. 

#16Days – The Challenges facing women in Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam

For 16 Days of Action to mark the international campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we’ve had the privilege of hearing from Meerim from Kyrgyzstan and Thu from Vietnam here at The Women’s Centre. They gave brilliant presentations on the challenges facing women and girls in their countries.

Thu spoke of the level of domestic abuse in Vietnam. With 58% of women in the country reported to experience the problem, it is widespread. She also spoke of the pressures of women to give birth to boys and the problems that arise from this.

As is common here, domestic abuse is a shameful topic for many women. In Vietnam few women will confide in anyone about their abuse, keeping it a secret, and will continue to experience violence and mental abuse throughout their marriages.

However, there are some progressive initiatives in Vietnam that are paving the way to combatting domestic abuse. Pioneering programmes run by men against abuse are taking off, much like the White Ribbon campaign. Safe addresses in neighbourhoods are growing in number. These are places women experiencing abuse can go for support.

The participation of women in politics in Vietnam sits below a target rate of 35%. Despite there being a number of women in elected politics, Thu outlined that many of the positions they hold are not influential, so gender discrimination is a big issue here.

Meerim opened our eyes with her presentation on the challenges facing women and girls in Kyrgyzstan. She focused in particular on the fact that in her country many women do not have a choice as to whether or not they marry. The shocking practice of bride kidnapping that sees young girls and women abducted and forced into marriage is widespread.

In fact, 20% of marriages in Kyrgyzstan are as a result of ‘bride-napping’. The tragedy of this practice is clear and the roles that cultural superstition and lack of gender equality play are important to understand as part of combatting its prevalence.

It was explained by Meerim that girls can be seen as a burden and, with education being very expensive in the country, being married becomes the default progression for a lot of young women. An overall shift in attitudes toward women and girls and bride kidnapping is being furthered by international organisations and local activists in the country, so there is a growing awareness around the associated issues.

There is much progress to be made in both countries, as there is here in Scotland. Education on an international level is an important part of this progress, especially with the power of social media to influence change. We’re grateful to Meerim and Thu for educating us.

Highlights From our 16 Days of Action

At The Women’s Centre we’re running our 16 Days of Action activity from the 25th November until the 10th December to mark the international campaign for an end to violence against women and girls. We’re running a whole host of activities including Sharing Lives, a look at the lives of women in Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam. We’re also running a personal safety workshop for women with a discussion on confidence and self-esteem. Crucially, we are running a seminar on domestic abuse and coercive control. Here are all the details of what we’re running over the 16 days…

27th November
Sharing Lives, the cultures and traditions of Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam with Meerim and Thu, 10am-12pm

29th November
Safety Session provided by WISE Women – a participative session on how to stay safe with a discussion on confidence and self-esteem, 10:30am-11:30am

4th December
Sharing Lives follow-up from Meerim and Thu on Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam with a focus on the challenges facing women in their countries, 10am-12pm

4th December
Film afternoon. Join us for a screening of “9 to 5” starring Dolly Parton, 1pm-3pm

5th December
Remembering Glasgow’s Forgotten Women. An informal session looking at the history behind the “Glasgow System”, a time in our city’s history which saw the collusion of the church, local authorities, police and medical profession to enforce the social repression of women, 10:00am-11:30am

5th December
Seminar: Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control. The seminar is aimed at anyone who’s interested in finding out more about the current developments around these disturbing issues affecting not only individuals but families and the wider community. Jan McLeod from The Women’s Support Project will provide an update on domestic abuse and detail the meaning of coercive control as well as giving latest statistics on the extent of the problem.

Naomi Breeze will perform one-woman play “Kaleidoscope” which addresses the effects of coercive control, 12:00pm-3:00pm

8th December
Women’s Festival. A day of celebration of women with activities all afternoon including threading, henna, Songs for Freedom, Maryhill Integration Network’s dancers and a daytime disco with Weekday Wow Factor, 12:00pm-3:00pm

For any information on any of these events, or to book a place call 0141 576 1400 or email info@womenscentreglasgow.org.uk

We look forward to seeing you!

Volunteers Wanted!

The Women’s Centre Glasgow Cafe and garden is at the heart of the local community and is where women meet their friends, ideas are exchanged, and their children play.

There are roles for women to become volunteer Cafe Assistants in our new café which will be launching soon. Training will be provided.

Open 5 days per week, the cafe provides good, home cooked food at an affordable price to enable the women in the local community to access healthy meals out. The cafe not only serves good food but aim to provide a warm, friendly and welcoming space where women can come to meet and eat.

For more information or if you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact Denise on 0141 576 1400 or email volunteers@womenscentreglasgow.org.uk