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#SheCan – Make June the month you help women

Mugunga refugee camp, the Democratic Republic of Congo Photo: Lionel Healing/ActionAid Read more at http://www.actionaid.org.uk/news-and-views/news-blog/2014/05/29/the-worst-period-of-her-life-putting-myself-in-her-shoes#P15gH2M4IiL148cp.99

It was in a toilet at a service station that I suddenly found myself enraged about women’s rights. It feels like enough is enough at the moment, I’ve been following the No More Page Three campaign, quietly sharing status updates and raging about the fact we still have page three.

Those things might annoy me, but I feel indescribable anger when surrounded by stories of rape, murder, stoning to death, women at risk of FGM being deported – women being treated in appalling ways around the world. I know many women in my life feel strongly too, that the images flooding our Facebook streams make us want to change the world. The statistics are shocking.

  • 70% of the world’s poorest people are women and girls
  • 2/3 of the adults in the world who cannot read or write are women
  • 41 million girls worldwide are still denied a primary education
  • Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, but earn only a tenth of its income

I’ve been slowly getting more and more ready to take action, fortunately Action Aid stepped in with two campaigns that can channel that. On the back of the cubicle door I saw this Action Aid poster, on first glance a little thing, but it made me really ready to take action.

Women in Syria or the Congo who have lost everything having to face the indignity of having no access to sanitary protection.

Chances are if you are a parent, and you’ve seen this ad in a motorway service station, then you were too busy trying to sort out a small person’s needs to text a donation, which is why I am sharing this now.

Text KIT to 70111 to give £3 to buy a feminine hygiene kit. Give another woman her dignity back. Go on now, I think we all know how much that £3 is worth in real terms.


Make June the month you really help women #SheCan

70% of the poorest people in the world are female. Young women are trapped in a cycle of poverty – the violence and inequality they face keeps them poor and vulnerable.  Just because they are women.   

There has never been a better time to make a donation to help women, because the UK Government is matching every pound raised in Action Aid’s #SheCan appeal until June 26th, meaning they can help twice as many women.

Action Aid are launching the #SheCan appeal to expand their work to enable thousands of young women to be free from harm into a life where they are can learn, live free from violence and be able to work themselves out of poverty.

I want to share Mwanahamisi’s story

Mwanahamisi Mariamu, who lives on a dumpsite outside Mombasa in Kenya, said:

“I scavenge at the dumpsite. I collect bottles bottle tops and scrap metal. I don’t know how old I am but maybe 16.

I also get very scared at night. The men around here drink a lot and it scares me. At night they roam around looking for girls to rape. It happens to many girls, the men are strong and can be very violent so the girls have to go with the men whether they want to or not. At night I try and stay in the house with my mother and siblings so that they don’t know I am here.

I don’t go to school now and I only reached nursery level but had to leave because there was no money. All I really want is to go to school so that I could become a teacher. I want to learn things and to be able to teach others things that I know.”

For the duration of the appeal which is 26 March until 25 June all of the money raised will be doubled by UK government so you can make double the difference to women and girls around the world.

How can you help?

  • Text KIT to 70111 to give £3 to buy a feminine hygiene kit. Give another woman her dignity back.
  • Make a donation to the #SheCan appeal, help women like Mwanahamisi – actionaid.org.uk/shecan
  • Lend your support on Twitter: @ActionAidUK #shecan


  1. 05/06/2014 / 6:17 pm

    I had no idea about this campaign, but what a valuable valuable difference it could make for hardly any money at all… We really do need to start making a difference in these girls lives…

  2. Kirsty
    05/06/2014 / 8:03 pm

    I can’t believe that I haven’t heard about this campaign before. Thank you for sharing and I will be sharing too. I have felt so impotent in the face of numerous stories in the press recently but this is something positive that can make a difference x

  3. Katy Hill
    05/06/2014 / 8:05 pm

    Wow. And you’re right. I DID see that in a service station and i was dealing with a 4 year old emergency at the time and totally intended to get the details – then forgot. THANKYOU for the vital reminder. And thanks for sharing Mwanahamisi’s story. It’s so easy to think of these as faceless problems, but a personal story speaks volumes and these women can’t be forgotten x

  4. becky
    05/06/2014 / 8:08 pm

    Oh gosh Penny it so damn sad. Important post love thnaks for sharing

  5. 05/06/2014 / 8:00 pm

    I’m going to share this Penny, as I think that’s the best thing I can do to try to help. Such a valuable campaign.

  6. 05/06/2014 / 8:11 pm

    It is hard sometimes to remember that as women we have a pretty good deal in this country yet in so many other places it still isn’t the case. A very worthy cause and amazing that you are raising awareness

  7. Actually Mummy
    05/06/2014 / 9:59 pm

    I knew exactly what you were going to talk about when you mentioned that toilet. I’m not ashamed to say that I made that text sitting on the loo at Membury services. It’s not something that most people think of, and yet so many women are having to put up with it regularly. Thank you for writing about it.

  8. 06/06/2014 / 1:06 pm

    These sorts of stories are so shocking. I can’t believe this is still happening around the world. Thanks for raising awareness.

I'd love to know your thoughts!