Networking Series: Summer Drinks
‘My friend was crying, she saw the blood and thought she was dying. I advised her that it was menstruation and that it was normal’’ – A young girl empowered by Irise International, Uganda
After a day of rain, the sun arrived with our members and their guests who caught up with old friends and made new ones over a cool beverage at The Rotary HQ, York Gate. We were there to learn more about The Circle’s new project in support of IRISE International, Uganda in the very room where The Music Circle announced in January 2018 that their next project would be about #MenstruationMatters for vulnerable women and girls marginalised in local and global communities.
#MenstruationMatters to the girls in Uganda who understand that they are not severely sick every time they have their menses.
#MenstruationMatters because girls can comfort other girls by reassuring them that it’s natural and normal to have a period.
#MenstruationMatters to the girls who don’t have to miss school because essential resources and facilities.
#MenstruationMatters to the girls who no longer fear engaging in their lessons because they know its ok to menstruate and have a voice.
#MenstruationMatters to Members of The Circle who believe no women or girl should ever be held back by the beautiful and natural cycles of their bodies.
We are so grateful to Emily Wilson, Director of Irise International, for travelling down from Sheffield to share her knowledge and experience with us. Emily started her talk by dropping a tampon on a table and asking us to describe how we would feel if that had happened in a boardroom full of men and why. From that point on she helped us to understand how our own feelings are not so different from those of the girls who face their menstruation in fear every month and helped bridge the gap between our reality and those of the girls empowered by IRISE International in Uganda. The most horrifying fact that I took away from the event is that young girls are coerced into transactional sex in exchange for disposable sanitary products. No women or girl should have to endure that under any circumstances and as members of The Circle we are proud to be empowering girls to make that positive change happen for themselves.
At the event we also supported #TheHomelessPeriod campaign in support of marginalised and vulnerable women in our own local community in London. Thanks to the generosity of our members and guests we collected a large suitcase full of sanitary products that we will be donating to WE-Stap. We-Stap supply products and toiletries for vulnerable women living in Croydon, many of whom are homeless, survivors of domestic abuse and refugees.
You can support Irise by making a Donation HERE
Support vulnerable and marginalised women and girls in your community by doing a collection of sanitary products in support of #TheHomelessPeriod and donating these to your local food bank or women’s shelter.
And join us today to take part in events like these with like-minded women as we ensure the most disempowered women and girls across the world continue to be part of the global movement for gender equality!