Womanhood, or for context, Sisterhood is universal. A connection, a bond that no matter where you are or what part of the world you live in. You feel this urge to do something to help as you reflect on your own pain and struggles experienced as a woman. Something many of us know too well. Since COVID-19 the world changed dramatically and so did violence against women which hit home for me. The fight for survival in a world of uncertainty was literally what so many women were facing daily.
Apparently, I live in a time where I should feel liberated that I am a woman, yet I have so many questions. I can’t help and feel at times this shroud of thought reminding me that practising gratitude is necessary. I have learnt to be grateful for today and tomorrow, yet be present in the moment. Even when it seems hard and distant. It feels like just yesterday I was celebrating International Women's Day but that soon came and passed. Reality comes gushing back and so does the mission - how can I help liberate women in today’s modern society. I reflect on the issues that are still impacting women today. Especially now the world turned on its head after two years of a national lockdown and now the Ukraine crisis that has devastated many.
So, during one of my many nights of deep reflection I came across an article that discussed the political and social impact women and girls were facing due to the current Ukraine conflict. It drew on traditions on a global scale and how women from across the globe share one common thing. They are fighting to survive given the horrific circumstances life may have thrown at them. Issues such as human trafficking, domestic violence and psychological trauma. Can you imagine? These are only just a few of the issues women are facing daily both here in the UK and around the globe.
Earlier this year I had the privilege to sit as a judge for The London Impact Awards. The awards aimed to recognise community organisations that were making long-lasting changes to women’s lives in their communities. These organisations, which often operate under the radar, are powered by dedicated staff and volunteers who have personal experience of living in the communities they support.
Organisations such as STORM Family Centre, Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation, and One in Four UK; Girls United Football Association, Street Talk and Sutton Women's Centre; Glitch, Anima Youth C.I.C. and Sister System to name a few.
Commenting on the organisations and the awards; Chief Executive of The London Community Foundation, Kate Markey, said -
I know that it is going to take continued collaboration and more unity between women to end the injustices many are facing around the world. Although this is the case we cannot forget the women here still fighting to find their voice. So, let’s take a moment to shine a light on these women-led organisations that are helping the lives of many women here in the UK.
No matter where you are, what you have experienced or whatever you believe. Womanhood, where adulthood and maturity meet, where our journeys define our characters and where we understand no matter how big or small an effort is an effort. Standing together, supporting one another at a time when many women are still fighting for survival; from rights to education, to protecting those who have experienced violence or psychological abuse to basic human rights. We hear you, we feel you and we are here. I hope to celebrate women every single day not just for IWD so that my daughter grows up proud and in love with who she is. Recognising that sisterhood is not an option it is a responsibility.
Shanice Hoo Mills is a mother of one and founder of Kallure Consulting, a London based communications agency -