I’m sure you’re all well aware that the 8th March is International Women’s Day (and if you were not, now you know). However, this week there is cause for celebration also, as Thursday brings the International ‘Women of Colour’ Day.
The term ‘women of colour’ is used collectively, to originally refer to the experience of being subjected to racism as well as sexism. This was established by the National Institute for Women of Colour in 1981 in the U.S., to create a special day where a strong national network of women of African, Indian, Asian, Alaska native, Pacific Island, Latina and Hispanic heritage can be appreciated and recognised for their contributions.
The U.S. holds annual awards dedicated to ‘Women of Colour’ and traditional events such as wearing ethnic dresses to celebrate the day. However, I was surprised to see hardly any specific celebrations for this event in the U.K. – on Google anyway.
Instead, let us use this Thursday to recognise not just women and girls, but also men, organisations and businesses of all groups working towards justice, equality and diversity. Be that the youngest Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai or Mehreen Baig’s work on Islamophobia in the U.K. They are indeed, one of our nations greatest sources of talent and change. Even here in Manchester, 33.3% of the population is non-white (2011), so take the time to appreciate the people around you. Remember, you do not have to be a ‘woman of colour’ to hold the spirit of one.