Firstly we have the Women's Institute which was founded in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Fast forward to today and the WI has 220,000 members and plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.
WI members have campaigned on equal pay, climate change, gaps in midwifery workforce and the plight of the honey bee to name but a few and built a reputation for the WI as an organisation that doesn't shy away from tricky issues. This shows the strength that women have when well they make coordinated and well organised campaigns.
Our second group, Womankind Bristol has a different focus but demonstrates the power of women supporting women. This locally based group looks at how women can support women during periods of their lives when things aren't going so well. They provide a range of practical services to help women improve their mental health and wellbeing which include a helpline, 1 to 1 counselling, group therapy and befriending. Sometimes women need that little bit more help when circumstances in their lives are working against them.
And finally our third group for this week is The Shine Project in Dorset. This project focusses on teenage girls and runs courses which provide girls with the opportunity to discover their potential, understand the flaws of the media as well as understanding their uniqueness and abilities. I think it's fair to say that helping young women feel confident in themselves is a fantastic aim, especially with regards to today's social media, selfie obsessed culture where what is seen online may not accurately represent real life.
So three different groups, all with women as a theme and they are just the tip of the iceberg. If you would like to get involved more, simply look up their details on our directory.
On International Women's day let's celebrate the role women have in our society, the power of their support to communities and their ability to make change happen!