International Women's Day 2019

Nina and Heather, two awesome women from Tyburn, north of Birmingham city centre, got involved with International Women's Day on 8 March 2019. 

Both were excited to take an active role in campaigning for women's rights and gender equality - this year's campaign focused on gender balance.

Nina, in her 50s, and Heather in her 60s, made friends through their involvement in the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme. They are both members of the Age of Experience group - a group of about 20 people with lived experience of isolation, who take an active role in influencing the programme. 

Speaking of her involvement, Nina said: "I feel that this is my time to help isolated older people, and leave a legacy in my life."

The two met up at BVSC in Digbeth, before heading out on the streets of Birmingham. Buzzing with excitement, it was clear that these two women are keen on sharing their experiences and encouraging other women over 50 to take part in such a powerful and international campaign.

Talking about role models, Heather shared that there are three women she admires: Britney Spears, Madonna and Whitney Houston. 

"They're all amazing singers," she said. 

Heather has followed Britney Spears' career for over twenty years and is impressed with how she has survived and got through difficult times in her life. She admires Madonna for adopting children from poorer parts of the world, and Whitney Houston for her strength of character. 

"Whitney Houston endured a lot in her life, and she always got through it. She had a very sad life but remained strong and positive. Whatever she faced, she got through it."

Nina talks about Faye, a councillor from her local community who she admires for putting issues in layman's terms and being able to challenge her views. 

"She has inspired me as a woman. She was able to see my positivity when I was in a negative space, and I needed someone to speak to. I'll always be in debt to her.

"With strength and positivity you can change and be a better person," says Nina. 

Both talk about trying to inspire other women to be themselves and find the confidence to show who they are, just like these two have. They encourage one another to take part in life's opportunities, have fun along the way, and be supportive and caring on the days that are a bit more challenging.

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