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Meet six change-making groups this International Women’s Day

To celebrate the 2023 edition of International Women’s Day, we’ve partnered with Spotify to highlight a few organisations advocating for change in our communities and beyond.

08 Mar 2023

Exist Loudly/Shingi Rice

In partnership with Spotify

For this International Women’s Day, we have partnered with Spotify to highlight some of gal-dem’s favourite feminist UK movements doing amazing work in our communities. These groups may not get the recognition they deserve in the mainstream, but their work has had so much impact, from getting the issues of Black maternal healthcare debated in parliament to creating volunteer-led phone lines for people to call when walking home alone. Here’s six organisations and charities making a difference for marginalised people nationwide. 

Five X More

Five X More are challenging the disparities in maternal healthcare. With an intent focus on Black women and birthing people’s experiences, the organisation is committed to changing healthcare outcomes in the UK. Co-founded by Tinuke Awe and Clotilde Abe in 2018, Five X More are at the forefront of conversations around systemic racism in healthcare, and their work has resulted in the topic being debated in parliament. 

Recent research shows that Black women in the UK are four times more at risk of dying during pregnancy than a white woman in the UK. By advocating for Black women, lobbying policy-makers, conducting research and spreading awareness, the organisation is working with and for Black women in the UK, to ensure everyone has quality healthcare and safe pregnancies. 

You can support Five X More by donating here, and following them on Twitter and Instagram.

Six black women stand next to eachother, all smiling and each holding a folder.
May 2022, Five X More’s Black maternity experiences report launch. Courtesy of Five X More

Strut Safe

Strut Safe was founded by five Edinburgh University students in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder in 2021. The threat against women and girls has been increasing consistently since the Covid-19 lockdowns, with the number of calls logged by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline rising by 22% in March 2021, compared to March 2020. And this rise doesn’t account for the 5 in 6 women who do not report their assaults. 

Strut Safe provides a nationwide phone line service that the people can use late at night when they want company walking home. Their phone lines are open to everyone on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm – 3am and on Sundays from 7pm – 1am. 

The team consists of over 50 volunteers and is powered by donations from the public. Since their inception starting locally in Edinburgh, the team have expanded their phone line nationwide and extended their phone line hours. You can help them run by donating here or keep an eye out for when they next recruit for volunteers here

Reproductive Justice Initiative

Founded by former gal-dem columnist and doctor Annabel Sowemimo and co-directed by Edem Ntumy, Reproductive Justice Initiative, formally known as Decolonising Contraception, is a community-based charity that provides education and training in contraception and challenges you to think about sexual health in a new way. Through their podcast ‘The Sex Agenda’, zines, events and workshops, they share their knowledge widely in accessible formats and make sure the medical talk is not jargonised. 

By understanding that Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) has colonial histories that contribute to the various health inequalities Black and people of colour face day to day, the organisation is committed to challenging dominant narratives. 

You can support their work by donating to their cause here and stay updated through their Patreon.

An audience of roughly 20 people sit on chairs facing a person speaking.
From Reproductive Justice Initiative’s zine launch. Courtesy of Reproductive Justice Initiative.

Exist Loudly

Exist Loudly creates spaces of joy, community and care for Black LGBTQ+ youth in London through creative intervention. Founded by Tanya Compass in 2020, they provide opportunities for queer Black young people to tell their stories, hone their skills and build community. Through events, workshops, online spaces and mentoring programmes, Exist Loudly allows for Black LGBTQ+ youth to “exist as the majority, and exist loudly”

You can support them by staying updated through their Instagram.

Level Up

Level Up is a feminist organisation fighting for the liberation of women and gender non-conforming people from bodily and systemic violence. Their campaigns centre community and knowledge sharing, whilst also drawing attention to gender injustices. For example, some of their actions have included calling attention to rape in sports by flying a banner over a sports stadium and campaigning for Black hair companies to remove dangerous chemicals from their products.

You can support them by donating to their cause here and signing up to their newsletter to stay updated.

Sisters Uncut

Since their inception in 2014, Sisters Uncut have been fighting for people who live under the threat of domestic and sexual violence. Their multifaceted structure allows for their approach to be radical, robust and direct. They draw attention to gender injustices in the UK via direct actions and intervention. With survivor services being cut and the threat of violence increasing, Sisters Uncut’s work is vital, and a lifeline for many in need. 

You can stay updated by checking out their Linktree here for their latest news.

We curated a playlist for Spotify for International Women’s Day. Listen below.

This article was updated on 8 March to include the correct name of Five X More’s co-founder, Clotilde Abe. A previous version mistakenly stated that the co-founder’s name was Nicole Thea.