International Women's Day 2020

two young women smiling outdoors

We celebrate International Women’s Day (8 March) by shedding light on the female force behind the European Solidarity Corps.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality, which can be a topic for Solidarity Corps projects. 

In 2020, the day’s theme is #EachforEqual. Our team at the UK National Agency joined the campaign by putting their arms out front and striking the #EachforEqual pose to motivate others and to raise awareness about this important theme.

Staff striking the #EachforEqual pose for International Women's Day

Let’s look at some numbers: 

  • 63.9% of the 200,000 registrations for the European Solidarity Corps portal in February were from females living in participating and partner countries; 
  • 63.6% of the number of actual participants were young women;
  • The percentage of female participants from the UK is slightly above average at 67.2%.   

Among these participants is Sasha, who undertook a European Solidarity Corps placement at Youth and Environment Europe (YEE), an NGO based in Prague. We were delighted to read in a post that she wrote at the end of her placement, which was published on the YEE website, that Sasha felt more prepared and employable thanks to this opportunity. 

The percentage of female participants from the UK is slightly above average at 67.2%.

Empowering young people

In the UK, many European Solidarity Corps projects thrive with the help of contributions from women. We have been in touch with a few participants, who have shared how they are making a difference within their projects.

Laura de Nuzzo and Desirée Noriega are part of a group of young people in southeast London who are running a Solidarity Project called Sailing the Mayflower to Equality & Justice, which recently launched a campaign called FRED (promoting fairness, respect, equality and dignity for all). The project included the release of an e-course for young people on how to undertake youth-led research in order to inform and influence social policy.

Our first Solidarity Corps participant in Northern Ireland, Blessed Bernadette Ephraim, is vocal about volunteering and the empowering experience it can provide for young people. 

During her placement at Volunteer Now, she found out about new aspects of volunteering and had the opportunity to get involved with The Open, one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world. Her support in the run up to and during the event as Volunteer Ambassador was ‘tremendous’, according to her organisation, and she was even interviewed by the BBC!

Meanwhile, in Scotland, three female participants are making a difference at the Global Ecovillage Network. Carolin Waldmann, Katrin Hasselwander and Lucia Roque are learning by doing, gaining skills to help them contribute to developing a more sustainable world.  

To find out more about International Women’s Day, don’t forget to go to their website and join in with the day using the hashtags #IWD2020 and #EachforEqual.

Do you have a story about women’s achievement related to the European Solidarity Corps? Let us know on Twitter!

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