March 8 2014

‘Women of the World’ project for International Women’s Day

IWD 2014

International Women’s Day, on the 8th March, is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In 1910, it was proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands, and so, International Women’s Day (IWD), was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on the 19th March, 1911.

Over 100 years on, women’s voices are becoming stronger and more united across the world. We try and mark this important day every year with different projects that celebrate women and their achievements in many different and creative ways.

This year we are supporting a special and delicate project entitled ‘’Women of the World’. This project is a collaboration between Dance and Performance Development Workers Jessie Brett, from Wales, who has worked on several projects with us, and Mesert Yirga, a wonderful Ethiopian woman who specialises in working with women through Dance and Theatre. These two talented women hope to make a new dance piece about women and some of the challenges that they face in society. Drawing on their experiences and talking to vulnerable women in Ethiopia, Jessie and Mesert will collect stories to inform the work which is designed to be an inspiration for women everywhere.

The women will create an integrated Dance Theatre performance and take it directly to vulnerable women in Ethiopia. They will create a performance that addresses some of the issues women face all over the world, as well as specifically in Ethiopia – issues like female genital mutilation, domestic violence, low income and rejection from society from having children out of wedlock. The project will have public performances of the work, sharings with Women’s Charities in Addis Ababa, and then a tour of the performance to Dire Dawa in the East of Ethiopia, to many more charities that help women.

This worthwhile project needs your support to make it happen. It’s a very difficult time for dancers in Ethiopia as some of the little support they had has ceased, and we all know that funding for the Arts across the world is in difficult position. Your support really could have an impact and will support Women and the Arts, making positive and creative connections between Ethiopia and Wales.

Everything is in place for this project to go ahead, and we just need your support for the 3 Ethiopian artists’ living costs for the duration of the performance, to enable them to give their time to the project and allow them to survive financially and support their families during the project, costumes, and filming of the performance.

Please spare some time to support this project for International Women’s Day and visit