To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (Tuesday 8th March) Annie Lennox, Daniela Nardini and Zoe Ball are calling on women in Scotland to get together and have ‘A Bit of a Do’.
Annie Lennox OBE inspired the idea of the ‘Oxfam Do’ when she brought together a group of friends in 2008 to celebrate women’s achievements and to fundraise and campaign on behalf of women around the world.
A ‘Do’ can be anything from a tea party to a cocktail party, a girls’ night in, to a girls’ night out, and each ‘Do’ can be as individual as the host. Friends, family and colleagues can join in and do dinner, do drinks, do dancing, do something – to celebrate and help women in poverty.
Every penny raised through holding an ‘Oxfam Do’ will go towards four women’s projects around the world. These include training women in Zimbabwe with farming and business management skills, offering free maternal health care to women in Ghana, providing resources such as teachers and classrooms for girls in Mali so they can gain an education, and helping bring an end to violence against women in Pakistan through the ‘We Can’ campaign.
Oxfam Global Ambassador Annie Lennox OBE, who is spearheading the EQUALS campaign for International Women’s Day, said:
“The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day is something worth celebrating. We’ve come a long way in the last century, but there’s still so much to be done before all women enjoy equality and justice.
“Of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, the vast majority are women. Without economic independence, or a say in their own future, they have little hope of escaping the poverty trap. That’s why I’m spearheading the EQUALS coalition with Oxfam and over thirty other organisations.
“We hope that every woman will celebrate International Women’s Day this year. And what better way to celebrate than by having ‘A Bit of a Do’ with family and friends?”
Zoe Ball, who invited her friends for afternoon tea and cake at Claridges for her Oxfam Do, said:
“What could be better than getting together with a few girlfriends to talk about the amazing things women have achieved and the obstacles we’ve overcome, share ideas about how to deal with the injustices that remain, and generally put the world to rights? Knowing that at the same time you’re raising money for Oxfam’s work with some of the most vulnerable women in the world makes it even more worthwhile. It’s a no-brainer – do dinner, do dancing, do cake, do cocktails, just do something!”
As well as hosting or attending a ‘Do’, Oxfam have been asking people to name their inspirational women through its social networking sites.
Daniela Nardini named her inspirational woman as Annie Lennox:
“I am truly inspired by Annie Lennox. I’m a massive fan of her music of course, but I love the fact that she’s dedicated her life to doing something good. The work she does for Oxfam and her other overseas work is impressive. She’s not afraid to face big issues and really take a stance. It’s not just about “doing charity”- she really believes in it and her knowledge is formidable. She’s also great at getting the people around her to take action and make a difference.”
On Twitter, followers have been tweeting @OxfamDoScotland with their inspirational women using the taglines #inspirationalwomen and #dothedo. As well as Mums and Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Beyonce have been popular.
There’s a long way to go before every woman can join in the celebrations – of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide more than two-thirds are women and girls. But women are catalysts for change. Empowering women can help them to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty.
For more information and to receive a free fundraising pack – including party ideas, themes and recipes – readers can go to www.oxfam.org.uk/celebration or phone Oxfam Scotland on 0300 200 1250.