Feminist activists are using International Women’s Day as a day of action
Happy International Women’s Day. By now you’ve no doubt been inundated with branded campaigns capitalising on the day to make you consume more things you definitely don’t need. To cut through the noise, Sisters Uncut have replaced the adverts on London tubes to shift the narrative back to what women actually do need.
The feminist activist group have collected 14 poems, written by survivors, domestic violence sector workers and their allies can be found in the advertising slots across the Central, Northern, Victoria, and Piccadilly lines.
Nadia Bell, Sisters Uncut activist said: “This International Women’s Day, it is important to recognise the work that still needs to be done to guarantee safety for ALL survivors, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status.”
The carriage posters include real stories that amplify the experiences of marginalised women, including how the hostile environment towards immigrants has locked out women who are refugees.
Other posters take aim at the government cuts and policies that have bound some women to their violent relationships.
“A new domestic violence bill is nearly on its way, it has been written in the blood-stained hands of Theresa May,” one reads. “No more Tories, No more cuts, Theresa May we are coming and we are Sisters Uncut.”
Grace Chan, a domestic violence sector worker said: “The DV Bill is intended to ‘deliver more convictions’ for domestic violence, which we fear will further criminalise survivors of abuse. The solution doesn’t lie in giving the police more power – Theresa May needs to give power back to survivors by funding specialist services.”
International Women’s Day was created to focus on women’s rights, so it’s only fitting to zone in on the activists who are using the day to amplify voices silenced by the state.
This morning, Women’s Strike organised a protest to centre the voices of trans women in the UK. 50 trans women and their allies occupied the Ministry of Justice to protest against transphobic plans to move trans women to all-male prisons after the death of Vicki Thompson, 21, at HMP Doncaster. She had been denied access to hormones.
Esther Olivestone, one of the women organising the action said: “Trans women are taking action today to oppose government plans to transfer incarcerated trans women to the male prison estates and to create a separate trans-only prison ward; a move that will be a death sentence for many. We stand against the prison system, and all the violence that it enacts and enables.”
Read about how Sisters Uncut are building a new feminist movement.