International Women’s Day, Riverfront, Newport, March 2016.
Having come back from this International Womens Day event, at the Riverfront, I am all fired up.
It was a beautiful emotional day and it made for me crystal clear, something that I already knew, at the moment, women should be able to own their bodies and their births, without argument and coercion, but they do not.
I came away wanting to support women to have the positive births they have a right to and deserve and wanting to encourage people to speak up and speak out about their rights, every time there are infractions of them, no matter how insignificant they seem. Too often we know things are not right, but we don’t want to rock the boat or get people into trouble.
Every time you are given misinformation, every time someone does not share the pros and cons of an intervention or not having one, then your rights, so hard fought for, are being trodden on and misinformation continues.
If you have a life, birth or other story you will like to share, please contact me HERE.
With speakers on female genital mutilation, domestic abuse and stalking, (Rachel Williams), child marriage, Gabby Gallaspie whose book makes powerful reading, and the additional complications of race and honour abuse for women with disabilities (Saliha Rashid) it was incredibly emotional, empowering, uplifting and heart breaking, all at the same time, but one thing shone through, these women, they are not just survivors, they are THRIVERS and I was proud to be among them.
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For me the story from a female refugee of how she came to the UK was particularly poignant. There are other Doula UK Doulas who volunteer in Calais and she had a message for all the volunteers who give their time, their hearts and their souls.
Her heart breaking journey, from Eritrea, ended with arrival in Calais, her message thanked god for the volunteers, the volunteers who brought food, the volunteers who brought clothes, the volunteers who brought warmth and the tent they slept it. The volunteers who provided their one meal a day and everything they needed.
I too would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making a difference.
No-one asked for anything except to share their stories, but I came away with an empty purse, I considered buying food, but I couldn’t – I gave what I had to those who have so little.
The day ending on a showing of Suffragette, which left me in floods of tears. How hard they fought for the rights we take for granted today. How much work is still left to be done.
One day International Women’s Day may not be needed, but right now, it is needed more than ever.
Samantha Gadsden walks with women on their life’s journeys. She is an experienced Doula, based close to Cardiff in South Wales, mother to 4 children and wife to Eddie, more information can be found on her facebook page, Samantha Gadsden Doula and her website, Caerphilly Doula.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog or sharing a life or birth story please feel free to contact her HERE.
“Your Journey, Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth“