DIFFICULT WOMAN – collaboration with Helen Lewis
'The difficult woman is not rude, petty or mean. she is simply willing to be awkward, if the situation demands it; demanding, if the occasion requires it; and obstinate, if someone tries to fob her off.' Helen Lewis
'In early 2018, it was already apparent that the referendum on Ireland's abortion laws would be an era-defining battle. It followed two years where progressive politics seemed to be in retreat in Britain and the US, with the vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Would Ireland buck the trend by repealing the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution - which gave equal weight to the life of a woman and her foetus - and liberalising its laws? When I appeared on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, I decided to wear a REPEAL necklace - reasoning that if branded jewellery was good enough for the Suffragettes and Suffragists, it was good enough for me. Mine came from Wear And Resist, and for days afterwards, people asked me about it. So when I finished Difficult Women, I wondered if there was a way to collaborate with Sarah again. She said yes, as did our charity partner Women for Refugee Women, and the result is stunning. Many female refugees are escaping from sexual and physical violence, and Britain should not retraumatise them as it processes their applications. Women For Refugee Women gives them a voice - through English and drama lessons - and campaigns for a fairer asylum system.'
I was absolutely delighted to be asked to make a necklace to celebrate the publication of Helen Lewis's Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights. This is a manifesto for the Difficult Woman and this necklace is the perfect accessory. A must-read for 2020 and a voice of the Persisterhood.
'Above all she knows that no woman can fight all the battles alone, no matter how difficult she is. Sometimes, she feels tired, and worn out. But one thing saves her, because a difficult woman should always find herself some other difficult women.'
£2 from the sale of every necklace will go to Women for Refugee Women – a UK-based charity that supports women who are seeking asylum and challenges the injustices they experience. They run a range of activities for refugee women, including English classes, drama and writing workshops, with the aim of empowering them to tell their own stories. Women for Refugee Women also advocates for a fair asylum process and works towards a world in which all women who cross borders have the right to safety, liberty and dignity.