loop - sitandknitabit
100 Events for the 100th International Women's Day
100 Million Stitches for 100 Million Women
Tuesday 8th March 2011
WHAT ARE WE DOING ?
•holding 100 Events on the 100th International Women's Day
•knitting 100 million stitches to represent 100 million women
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
It is estimated that 100 million women are missing from the world today due to gender discrimination. Each stitch will represent a woman missing: discriminated to death or vanished from the global population.
Some of the reasons women are 'missing':
•gender provoked infanticide and abortion It is impossible to gather statistics on the number of girls who die annually from infanticide. Calculations are clouded by the nature of the crime, and by ambiguity and unrelability of much of the data. Nonetheless, a minimum estimate would place casualties in the hundreds of thousands. Sex-selective abortions likely account for an even higher number of 'missing' girls, and is a crime overwhelmingly commited by women.
•sex trafficking and slavery Again, the nature of the crime makes statistics and estimates difficult to rely on. A 2009 UNIFEM report estimates that the number of trafficked persons range from 500,000 to 2 million per year. In India, the federal police say that around 1.2 million children are involved in commercial sexual exploitation.
•prioritising resources and medical care to men in communities [eg vaccinations]
•lack of education education is a human right and an essential tool for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace. Non- discriminatory education benefits men and women, boys and girls. In 2008, UNESCO's statistics from 157 counries indicated that only one third of countries has reached gender equality in both primary and secondary education
•preventable complications in child birth which needlessly claim one woman a minute
We wish to take a fresh look at the challenges women face today in:
•governments Women make up less than 20% of UK MP's. The UK now stands at 52 in the international league of women's representation in parliaments - about level with the United Arab Emirates and below Afganistan, Rwanda, and Iraq. Lack of equal representation has direct consequences on policy making and the therefore the lives of everyone.
•workplaces 96% of executive directors of the UK's top 100 companies are men. 40 years after the Equal Pay Act, women working full-time in the UK are still paid an average of 16.4% less per hour than men. 30,000 women every year lose their jobs as a result of becoming pregnant
•homes 1 in 4 women in Britain will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime, many of these on a number of occasions
•in the media statistics everywhere show what we know in our guts. The roots of women being valued for their physical appearence, analysts say, are economic. By presenting an ideal impossible to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet and clothing industries are assured of growth and profits. Research also indicates that exposure to images of thin, young, air-brushed female bodies is linked to depression, loss of self esteem and unhealthy eating habits. It's also an all consuming obsession of our time which distracts from more pressing issues...
We wish to open conversation and debate about women in the 21st century.
It is important too to look at the faces of the ladies who have made positive change, whose shoulders we all stand on today, and to recognise their work and achievements in creating a fairer, more beautiful world for the women and men who live in it.
Those balls of wool, those small bits of creativity in baskets in corners of room. To connect them all into a blanket of that creativity. Those moments of meditation carved out of women's busy days. Into a blanket.
Why the big blanket?
It is estimated that 100 million women are missing from the world today for reasons which can fall under the title of gender discrimination. These reasons include gender provoked infanticide and abortion, the sex slave industry, and the channelling of reasources and medical care to the men in communities first (eg vaccinations). They include the consequences of poor education, and preventable complications in child birth, and conditions like fistula.
We are trying to provoke Scotland into asking questions regarding women in 2011 by collectively knitting between 60 and 100 million stitches to exhibit as a beautiful and poignant centre piece to loop.
We are asking you to get involved.
- your knitting will be well loved and cared for wisely during and after the event.
- we plan to support relevant charitable organisations on a local, national and international level. Details to follow.
We're estimating that to gather that amount of knitting, we probably need around 600 squares every day between now and the end of February. If you think this is a movement worth supporting, either read on to see the many different ways you can get knitting and get everyone you knitting, or use your imagination and contribute in your own way.
It's a challenge. There are many different ways we can make it so:
1 KNIT a square and send it to us:
Guidelines: 6 x 6 inch squares using any yarn or needles, as many as you want, by hand and by machines.
Where to send it:
25 Albert Drive
2 SET UP a sitandknitabit
sitandknitabit is a knitting station that is available in a public place for people to come together any time and knit.
Currently we have:
1 - Tramway, Glasgow [the one in the video at the bottom]
2 - Artisan, Gibson Street, Glasgow.
3 - Please let us know . . .
We are hoping that you might feel inspired to find similar ways of bringing this project more people.
In coming together, ideas are shared, valuable time is spent with valuable people from all generations, contributing to a movement which affects everybody. These times have so far been precious, contemplative and hugely enjoyable.
Please keep in touch with ideas and inspirations and we will do likewise.
Can't make it to Glasgow?
We have friends knitting in New York, Colombo, Perth [Austrailia] . . .
3 SHARE it with a knitting group [or start one . . .]
We would welcome videos and photos of women and men knitting and telling their stories:
Who taught you to knit?
What does knitting mean to you?
Who has knitted you something treasured?
Story of your favorite blanket, or stories from your life: of discrimination, burdens, secrets, glories, love..?
Set the group a target - i.e. 100 squares / a blanket banner . . .
Here are some charities we think fantastic and relevant, but there are many and you are free to choose one you think deserving too:
The Fawcett Society, Glasgow Women's Library, Care, Tostan, Apne Aap, Equality Now, The Fistula Foundation, The Self Employed Women's Association, Women's Campaign International.
How to get the perfect 6 inch square, no matter what your yarn / needle size:
cast on 3
skip 1, k1, make 1, knit to end of row
repeat this until the side of the square is 6 inches (15 cm)
knit 2 rows straight
skip 1, knit 2 tog, k to end of row
repeat this until 3 stitches remain
Can I do something other than a square?
Of course you can!
You could cast on 100 stitches and knit 100 rows.
You could cast on 10 stitches and knit 10 rows!
You could think of a woman you are knitting for and stitch her name, favourite colour, smile into the yarn...
You could knit a massive blanket with the face of a woman you love.
You could knit a landscape / a world map.
You could knit names you have been called, times you recall.
Whatever you do sitandknitabit...
If you want to get involved, please do check out the link - http://garterstitch100.posterous.com/pages/100-events