While today’s International Women’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness against bias, it is also a chance to celebrate women’s achievements. At eatsleepdoodle, our brand new colour & learn heroines of history tablecloth was conceived with exactly this sentiment in mind. The tablecloth features 20 impressive women in history, from all parts of the world and many different centuries who, in one way or another, each helped shape our world. Some you may well recognise, while others are lesser-known.
Researching and developing this product was enlightening for the whole doodle team; while lots of these women were familiar to us by name, the specifics of their accomplishments were often not. We were fascinated to learn that Marie Curie, for example, so well-known for pioneering developments in cancer treatment, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first and only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields.
Other heroines were, to us, new discoveries! Grace Darling, for instance, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter who at the age of 23 spotted a ship foundering off the coast. Together with her father, they rowed nearly a mile out to the site to save the shipwrecked survivors. She was subsequently awarded the Silver Medal for Bravery for her role in the rescue and inundated with letters of praise, marriage proposals - several artists even visited the lighthouse to paint her! Mary Eliza Mahoney, was a trailblazer as the first licensed African-American nurse, working in the profession for over 40 years, actively promoting nursing as a career and co-founding the National Association of Coloured Graduate Nurses to provide support and encouragement to others.
You can learn more about these marvellous women and the other heroines featured on our tablecloth by visiting our learning resource page here. They are all truly inspiring role models who have each contributed enormously to the great strides we are continuing to make today to achieve equality for women.
There were also so many, many more women we wanted to include that we simply couldn’t fit on the cloth! A small example of these impressive and influential women includes Rosa Parks, Georgia O’Keeffe, Junko Tabei, Ella Fitzgerald, Mary Seacole, Wangari Maathai, Caroline Herschel, Betty White, Jean Muir, Noor Inayat Khan, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nancy Pelosi, Frances Haugen, Naomi Osaka, Elisa Loncon Antileo, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Paula Rego – the list goes on and on!
That’s why we decided to include three empty frames in our design, ready for your own heroines, whether historic or contemporary and whether they’re close friends and family members or people on the other side of the world to you, or from a different century, or even a heroine of the future!
Another design choice for our tablecloth was the colour! In honour of International Women’s Day and the Suffragette movement, we chose lavender – which signifies justice and dignity - as the background colour. It also represents ‘visionary thinking’ – which we thought fitting.
While there is still so much more to be done to achieve gender parity, it is wonderful today to live in a world where women are CEOs, prime ministers, presidents, astronauts and engineers; girls are welcomed into universities and training and women have more options and choices than ever before. So the importance of celebrating women and their achievements and inspiring future generations grows!
Although IWD is not a one-day-a-year event, but rather a continual movement to strive for women’s equality, its recognition on 8th March means that we have time dedicated to reflecting, listening and learning. Since 1996 there have been many different themes for International Women’s Day, to bring focus and shed light on particular aspects of gender disparity. Themes have included #ChooseToChallenge, #EachForEqual, #PledgeForParity, #MakeItHappen and #TheGenderAgenda. This year’s campaign theme is #BreakTheBias, chosen because ‘whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn't enough. Action is needed to level the playing field.’ So we are all encouraged to imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination and a world that is diverse and inclusive. That way we can learn to celebrate and value difference and all unite for gender equality.
If you’re looking to inspire and inform others this International Women’s Day, our heroines of history tablecloth or wall-hanging could be just the thing! It’s a great girl-power gift for feminist friends and an ideal present for godchildren – a creative gift for nieces and nephews and a wonderful educational gift for grandchildren.
So, grab something purple and let’s all get involved this International Women’s Day to support women around the world – together we can #BreakTheBias!
And don’t forget you can get in touch with us on social media by using #eatsleepdoodle – we always love to see what you’re up to! You can also tag us on Instagram (@eatsleepdoodle_), Facebook (@eatsleepdoodlehq) and Twitter (@eatsleepdoodle_).