Watch as women march through South Shields to reclaim 'unsafe' spots and mark International Women's Day
Members from a South Tyneside women’s charity marched through South Shields to mark International Women’s Day.
Staff, service users and families supported by Bright Futures, a charity, took a stand as they marched through the town to demonstrate their rights as women.
The group, which works with women aged up to 25, focuses on issues including alcohol and substance misuse, child sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual health and relationships, homelessness, family relationships, friendships, school, education, training, crime and anti-social behaviour.
Some of the girls who attend Bright Futures events have recently been working on a campaign, ‘Girls Standing Up’, to promote equality, justice and freedom for young women.
And to mark International Women’s Day, the girls came up with the idea of marching from South Shields Skate Park, through North Marine Park and into the town. They chose the route as it highlighted areas of the borough where they felt unsafe or uncomfortable to walk in and wanted to reclaim.
The need to improve public safety has been highlighted following the murder of Sarah Everard, with awareness growing of the dangers faced by some women and girls every day.
But the group hopes the march will show they are not afraid and prove they have the right to go anywhere they like, without the risk of being harassed or attacked.
Hannah Woodward, apprentice worker at Bright Futures, said: “The idea of this march was to help our young women feel more confident and empowered being in their community.
“As a woman it can be scary existing in community spaces, but we hope this march will help young women to feel empowered and celebrate being female in their community.”
The girls promoted girl power throughout their march wearing pink ‘stand up’ hoodies and Bright Futures staff wore pink high-vis jackets to stand out to the community and highlight their message.
They also carried signs with positive messages and wore handmade badges promoting their campaign.
Hannah added: “The girls’ hard work and passion to create positive change around violence against women and girls is so inspirational - they are definitely future leaders and fantastic role models for other girls.”