International Women’s Day (IWD) is about celebrating the success of women at home and abroad with often positive political role models taking the headlines. This year it’s taking place on Thursday 8 March. Here at Emmaus we want to celebrate our own women – companions, volunteers, trustees and staff.

Each year there is a theme to International Women’s Day which overall this year is #PressForProgress, with a number of sub themes from which we have chosen ‘Maintain a Gender Parity Mindset’.

According to the Ministry of Housing Communities and local Government Report on Rough Sleeping Statistics taken in Autumn 2017, 14% of rough sleepers are now women. Here at Emmaus four of our 26 companions are female which is in line with this national statistic.

In fact, in relation to staff and volunteers, here at Emmaus we have without realising it reached a 50/ 50 representation, male to female and are very close to achieving this with our Trustees too.

This great news means there is not a lot of work to do to achieve our chosen theme. However, there is quite a bit to do to ensure we raise awareness of the increase in number of women sleeping rough as well has men and that this doesn’t end after IWD.

We have put together a fantastic IWD display introducing you to our female companions, volunteers staff and trustees as well as sharing some of our personal stories and images. We will be asking people to share a personal pledge to support our chosen theme and then we will vote on three we want to support and take forward for the year ahead.

We look forward to you coming to see our display and share your experiences of change you may have seen over the years or in equality you may have overcome. Wear something purple on the day to show your support!