Celebrating gender balance in Halifax: International Women’s Day 2019

Women: We are Warriors!, We are Soldiers, Police Officers, Carers, Lawyers, Mothers, Wives, Allies, Multi-taskers, Homemakers, Bread-winners, Teachers – we can be anything we want to be!

On Wednesday 6 March, we celebrated our annual International Women’s Day, here at Queen’s Road Neighbourhood Centre. Joined by nearly 200 residents from across Halifax, we celebrated the event with a variety of stalls from local services, enjoyed free beauty treatments and hair styling from the wonderful students at Calderdale College, and took part in a workshop held by All 1 Collective, gathering thoughts of women and the changes we can make locally.

On the day we were joined by award winning local entrepreneur, Razan Alsous from Yorkshire Dama Cheese in Sowerby Bridge. Razan is a Syrian refugee who fled the war and came to Yorkshire in 2012. Due to her pharmaceutical background and expertise she has created an award winning Syrian squeaky cheese and has a factory ship in Sowerby Sowerby Bridge. After 4 months from the start of production in 2014 she won the World Cheese Award Bronze Prize. Her story is one of inspirational bravery by a woman who refused to let her circumstances define or constrain her.

The Calderdale Council Choir provided music and dedicated two songs to the theme for the day. The choir is made up of Calderdale Council staff who meet once a week over lunch time to practice and are more than happy to come along to events and are always looking for more singers to join them.

Sisters United based at St Augustine’s Centre who are a local asylum seeker and refugee group helped organised the day, made some fantastic hot dishes including a very yummy biriyani and organised a Zumba class which saw residents, staff and our local Neighbourhood Police team joining in and shaking those hips!

The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world.

Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.

From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.

Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter